The Gentle Art of Trying Something & Sucking at It
How often do we think of doing something creative; maybe make a new recipe, or go to a drawing class, or taking up yoga...whatever it is, there is always that first time, maybe the first 10 or 100 times - and there is always someone better, and so maybe we are put off.
If are like me, and maybe like a lot of people, you get self critical about your attempt. "Ah this is terrible, I will never be good at this" But I have come to realize that that misses the point entirely.
The question then becomes: how do you get over sucking at something you’re trying to learn, so you can enjoy it, and maybe get good at it?
Here’s what you might try:
As you begin try something new, notice when you feel frustrated - and let it go. You’re out of your comfort zone - be an explorer. Absorb, be in the moment.
I am reminded of Leonardo da Vinci’s adventurous credo, "experience will be my mistress”. What a wonderful expression and way of looking at things by one of the worlds greatest thinkers.
There is a writer, Roman Krznaric, who observed:
A disastrous cultural inheritance from the Renaissance is the idea that creativity is about originality. We have in our minds the image of geniuses like Michelangelo, who was worshipped for his stunning originality, which seemed to be a divine gift from above. But I think that is off-putting for most of us, and makes us feel that if we aren’t being brilliant and original then we are lacking a creative streak"
Rather than originality, I think creativity is more about self-expression, and the joy of simply doing a thing. There is of course a separate joy in doing a thing well - but that cannot come at the beginning, and that should not be the measure of satisfaction.
Among the things I have tried in the past year, of which I suck to varying degrees but secretly love:
There are many other things I pursue, like photography, music. But lastly that brings me to Kahuna bodywork. With each bodywork I sometimes get frustrated of something I missed, or could have done better. I recall watching the masters under whom I have trained and think, why can I not do it that way, and so on - BUT then I think about the positive - there is so much to be positive about. I love the work, the environment I create, the sense of calm, of balance, the loss of time and the ability to just be in the moment, the exchange of energy, the way it makes people happy and feeling better. Each bodywork is different. A chance to grow, and improve and perfect a stroke. It live me happy, satisfied, fulfilled.
So - Forget about Michelangelo, forget about those ahead of you or better at you than the thing you are doing. There is always and will always be someone better. So be it. Dont be robbed of the joy of the expeience no matter the outcome.
Think, Dream, Do, Enjoy ....let experience be your mistress.
PS - feel free to share your feelings about your pursuits here
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I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.