Crappy First Attempts Rock!

Published: 11/13/2019

We have such high expectations of ourselves sometimes. We try something, it doesn’t work out the very first time and we say:

I can’t do it.
I will never be able to do it.
I have no talent.
I have no skills.
I’ll never be perfect at it.
I’m not good enough.

Sound familiar? Here’s the truth. CRAPPY FIRST ATTEMPTS ROCK! Anytime a human being takes on a new task or skill, their performance has a learning curve. Depending on how difficult that something is and our natural aptitude for it, that curve can be steep. This is natural and normal!

Here’s why:

If we aren’t willing to do something poorly, that lack of willingness gets in the way of our growth, learning and ability to experiment with new things.
When we give ourselves permission to learn with others around we become a huge encouragement to others.
When we fail in a spectacular manner we make progress even when things don’t work out exactly as we’d hoped.
Big failures are all part of the wonderful process of growth. Only always.
A good example that’s used for allowing ourselves to learn without expectation is watching a child start to walk.

At first, the kid can’t even stand. Having mastered that he is weaving around like a drunken sailor for that one crucial first step. The child falls down. There are bruises from hitting their head and other essential body parts.

This is repeated and repeated ad nauseam with small baby steps (yes, that’s where that saying comes from) until the little one is destroying everything in her path and outrunning parents.

The baby never berates himself for falling or not running a marathon right off the bat. She doesn’t say, “Well, I guess this walking thing just isn’t for me. I think I’ll crawl for the rest of my life.” Those thoughts don’t even occur to a baby or a child who is learning a new skill because everything is a new skill.

Here’s some advice on how to move yourself forward when you have no idea how to do a new skill or task.

1. Break down the steps you need to take into very small forward progress tracks.
2. Put the first tiny foot forward.
3. Relax and take a deep breath.
4. Do the rest of the steps, relaxing and breathing as often as you need to.
5. Repeat and watch yourself get better, because you will.
6. Remember this: Everything we do new starts with a crappy first attempt. Everything.

I remember when I first started writing newsletters in the fall of 2017. My husband and I were on vacation and I spent hours writing two ten-bullet newsletters. Hours. I couldn’t fathom how I could ever turn out writing more than one newsletter a month, if that. FB Lives? Not even a blip on my radar.

Now I do a newsletter and a FB live weekly. Each time I do it, the job becomes easier. It took months. I still have a lot of room for improvement. I can’t wait until I am a perfect writer or I wouldn’t have made the progress I have made. I’m grateful for that and intend to keep working at improvement by taking action.

Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.

If you’d like help with taking first steps or accepting your crappy first attempts, reach out. I can help with goals and provide you with one-on-one support to move you forward.

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