Just a few unfinished thoughts to share today, not brand new ones, but some that have definitely been more frequent this year as I’ve learned a new skill or seven (or seventy billion) in becoming a blogger. It is amazing how learning to write a blog has bled out into every area of my life and offered me opportunities to think things through from a new perspective, to remember old lessons, or to try to put myself in someone else’s shoes more.
Thought 1: It is COOL to be a beginner, it’s okay not to know, to stuff up, to need to ask questions, to feel a bit wobbly about things. It’s okay. Here’s something that might rock your world – think about someone you admire, the business guru, that amazing fashion designer, that great blogger, that scientist, doctor, super organised mum, Australia’s best footballer – can you see them in your mind…. right, that person, who excels at something that perhaps makes you feel a bit small and not-at-all ‘in their league’ and perhaps even a tad jealous, that very person in your mind, Steve Jobs, for instance, once had NO IDEA how to build a computer, or run a company, or become a global icon. He was just a guy who had an idea. Or think about Oprah Winfrey – same deal, different industry, she was just a little girl who grew up in poverty, who became a TV reporter with a name people couldn’t pronounce.
There’s no person who has ever walked the face of the earth who hasn’t been a beginner, a novice, a newbie. Not one! Isn’t that encouraging? Well, it makes me feel a lot better!
Thought 2: New things can be scary. That’s okay – don’t let that fear stop you from doing something that could turn into a massive passion in your life.
Learning requires a great deal of kindness towards yourself, the humility to ask, yet again, and a good whack of confidence. I think that confidence gets built up by being around other learners, and by having encouraging people who may be a bit further down the road around you – whether that’s blogging, athletics, parenting, global dominance of social media, or crochet, everyone starts out as a beginner. Everyone needs to be willing to learn.
When I was starting this blog, even before I got to that part – in the very beginning, when I was thinking of a name, and trying to understand how to get the blog from an idea in my head to a web presence, I don’t mind telling you, I cried a LOT of hot, angry tears of frustration. I was SO frustrated with myself, then I got frustrated at being frustrated, when I thought I’d conquered a lot of my tendencies towards being stupidly demanding of myself. It wasn’t pretty. I nearly gave up, before I’d even begun. True story.
The only reason you’re reading this blog is because people ENCOURAGED me to keep going, told me that I could do it, and learn new things, and eventually become proficient at them and create something that people would enjoy.
Thank you to those people. Thank you so much. Thank you for still encouraging me when I wobble.
Which leads me neatly to Thought 3: We all need encouragement. Every human being needs to be looked in the eye and told, you can. I believe in you. The aloof/confident girl you envy, she needs it. That ‘cool’ mum you see at school, she needs it. The guy at your coffee shop, he needs it. And I know I do.
It may be unfamiliar to verbalise our good thoughts about other people, but it really isn’t hard to encourage someone.
I think the key is to just be genuine and don’t make a big song and dance about it initially. Do they look great? Just tell them.
Let me break that down so you’re in no doubt – say you’re at work, and one of your colleagues looks really good one Tuesday, or has just given a killer presentation that you really got something from, when you pass her desk, or see him getting a coffee, just say, hey, you look great today or that presentation was so helpful to me. Just that, you don’t have to gild the lily, just be sincere and smile at them. Job done!
Really, it’s as simple as this – USE YOUR WORDS.
Use them for good, to build others up, and to build yourself up. The more you use them in this way, the more ease you’ll have at being someone who sees good in others, and tells them. You might even turn into a stranger on the street compliment giver. That stuff is FUN!
No photos today, no catchy title or six point action plan, just these thoughts – beginning is common to all of us, learning new things can be scary, everyone needs encouragement.
How can I encourage you today?
What are you learning that’s scaring you?
Jump in and comment, let’s talk this stuff out. Maybe someone else who reads this blog will know exactly what you need to know, because they’ve been there. Let’s find out!