Last week when I was faced with either putting time into writing, or analyzing some data I’d compiled to help me plan for 2017, my brain instantly wanted to do the analysis. I laughed at myself in the moment – I it was like a kid going after the bright shiny object. You see, analyzing is easy for me. I thrive on figuring out complex number problems. Writing, on the other hand, takes effort and concentration. I second guess myself: will what I’m writing make sense to the reader? Is it too detailed? Have I gotten lost in the weeds? Not so with analysis. That I know how to do.
This got me thinking about why people struggle with implementing change in their businesses. Even when someone believes something is important (writing the book is a VERY important goal for me, one which I am completely committed to), they often put off doing the work on it. As I looked at my own struggle I realized it had to do with my resistance to being a beginner. I find it frustrating and uncomfortable when I’m not sure exactly where or how to begin. At fifty-seven years old, it’s very challenging to be in this place of being a beginner. And as much as I want to be a better writer, I sometimes wonder if I have what it takes to really do it. Do I have the endurance, intelligence and capability to master these skills?
When I thought about it more, I realized that, being a beginner makes me feel as if I am not enough. I start second guessing and not trusting myself. Had I not stopped and noticed what I was doing, I would have rushed off to do the analysis, and the writing would have been put off another day. It’s not to say that when I sat down to write I knew how to make all those words captivating, nor was I certain that it was not too detailed. But I knew that if I simply kept avoiding it, I would never find out if I could write a book. I had to begin.
I’ve asked a lot of successful writers to suggest the best approach to getting a book done and they all say that I just need to write. Like learning to ride a bike, cook, or build something, the more I do it, the better I’ll get. The same is true for all of us.
So I invite you to stop putting off that thing you really want to do, and/or to try something new for a change. It doesn’t matter that you’re not an expert. Over time you will get better; but only if you put in the time. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. It’s okay to be a beginner. And it’s even okay to fail. Trust me – I’ve written a lot of crap! I’m still a work in progress when it comes to writing, but I’ve decided that’s okay. After all, I’m still a beginner.
Make it an extraordinary day!
Author of forthcoming book “The Simple Truths of Business” Your key to amazing success!