An impressive difference between people who are successful (whether in career, relationships, parenting, intimacy, a sport, a new language, you name it,) and those who aren’t successful comes down to the person’s willingness to be bad at something. That’s right…just plain old good fashioned sucking is just what the doctor’s ordering, today.
If you’re absolutely unwilling to fail for a period of time, you are closing the door on the opportunity in front of you. You are saying, “I would rather hold onto my pride than to sacrifice it for what my potential could reach.” You are saying, “I’d rather not attempt that new move in power lifting class in hope’s of saving face.” or “I’d rather not take acting classes because people will see my flaws.” “I’d rather not tell my distant wife how much I need her still because it might show vulnerability.” Oooh, I got ya on that one, didn’t I? That was a deep one.
It takes vulnerability to be willing to fail. Or be willing to suck. To be willing to try a new class. To be willing to meet someone new.
Vulnerability (especially in Type-A alpha dog males and females, hi that’s me) is a huge struggle bus. And let me tell you something. For so many years, I was the bus driver of that bus. And I was all the passengers on that bus. And the bus monitor. I also built the bus. Eventually I realized I was on the wrong fucking bus. Upon deep insight and awareness and growth, I now use my vulnerability as a tool and a sign of strength. My ability to say, “I am learning,” or “I am not great at this YET,” has been my biggest asset in growth.
Let’s look at some tangible examples, homies:
We often see life coaches who are out there being what I call “certification crazed.” They believe they need a specific cert to start coaching, and like clockwork as soon as they receive said certification, they’re looking for their next certification to uphold, promising themselves that they’ll be ready to coach when that cert is finalized. (“After I am certified in THIS, then I am really going to start!”) Only to search for a third cert, on repeat, until eventually deciding that coaching isn’t for them.
Perfectionism. Is. The. Death. of. Success.
So, what’s the underlying issue here?
Fear of being bad.
Fear of messing up.
The brain is a powerful AF tool that has a very persuasive voice. Their brains are trying to protect them, keep them safe, small, and in their comfort zone. Brain wants to tell them that a certification will teach them everything they need to know to finally feel comfortable enough to move forward, when in fact their unwillingness to play the game and get a little muddy is the true reason they aren’t ready.
A man can research baseball. He can watch baseball games. He can study baseball players and baseball coaches. He can stand in the dugout and breathe the fresh air of chewing tobacco and jock straps, but that man will never be good at baseball until he gets on the field and fucks up 1,000 times for the sake of growth and improvement.
I have clients that expect to be good at sales pitching their service to people as soon as they decide to do it. I often tell them, think of the first 100 times as practice runs. If you get a single sale out of the first 100 times you tell someone on your product, consider it a bonus. If you feel awkward, weird, clumsy…good. You’re fine-tuning your verbiage.
Experience and just DOING THE DAMN THING will trump the degrees and certificates every single time. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Do not be scared to get your hands dirty.
And listen, I get it. It’s scary. You’re jumping into the deep end. You’re standing naked in front of the crowd.
But YOU’RE DOING IT.
Just keep swimming, Dory. Just Keep Swimming, just keep Swimming.
And just do it! Nike.
Jump on the train of improvement!
Choo choo, bitches!