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!
17 thoughts on “Be a life long learner – three thoughts”
Well said, as usual.
I’m glad you think so Cate! I just had to get some positive words out today.
Hello you beautiful girl. You are the most extraordinary encourager I have met. It is such a gift of yours. You make people feel able, lovely and wonderful, it’s like a kind of glitter you sprinkle around the internet and it makes us (me) shine.
Thank you for all the encouraging you do.
You are making such brilliant in roads into all aspects of life Annette. I loves to read your words!
Keep writing, keep connecting, keep vlogging.
You are warmth, goodness and clever wordage all rolled up into one.
Naaaw Rachie, you’re so lovely. I must send you a video when I’m being less than all these lovely things you see in me – I have clay feet, I assure you!
That said, thank you so much for seeing my heart in my words and for humouring my very silly video efforts.
I will keep writing and connecting xxx
Just spent a good while reading your beautiful blog! I’ll be back for sure x
What could be more encouraging than that Jackie! Thanks, kick off your shoes, hang out, enjoy!! You’ve made my day.
How beautifully put.
You do ‘use your words’ particularly well. I’m so pleased you’re writing on a regular basis now, having always been quite the wordsmith.
I did want to share my most recent moment of encouragement.
I have always encouraged my kids to let someone know if they’ve done a good job, particularly in cafes or shops or where people work in some kind of service type industry. Because I know I would complain to management if there was a problem; I think it is equally important to compliment to management when there is exceptional service.
This evening at the bakery, after my son and I were served by a very friendly and very patient young lady. My son is ‘high functioning ads’ and making decisions can be tricky.
At the end of our shopping my son asked if there was a supervisor he could speak to. She looked a little concerned. I explained, “He just want to let them know what great service you provided.”
“And,” he chimed in,”tell them you should get a pay rise!”
Sorry this was such a long, very very long comment.
Loving your words Nettie
Hey Sair! How lovely to have you pop in and share – I love this story so much! Give that boy a high five from me – what good habits you’re building into your little men’s lives. On ya mama bear! And I am all for long, lush comments. I love them. Hugs to you my friend.
What a fabulous post Annette…again! Your words really resonated with me and this post is one that I will refer back to for inspiration and courage. Isn’t it funny how when we are looking at a particular area of our lives things pop up (like perfect blog posts) to help us on our way? Starting my blog was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, for so many reasons and that fear raises it’s head every time I click ‘publish’. Sometimes it takes courage just to be me but that is my goal, just to be myself. Thanks for helping me on the way 🙂
Rachel, I truly believe that’s the most worthy goal anyone can have – to be themselves, to speak in their authentic voice. Keep going!!
And thank you so much, I really appreciate that my words are reaching the right people. That’s more important to me than anything in this blogging caper. Keep going!
This is so important and needs to be shared! We all have to ask questions sometimes, and it is so important to learn new things! I think sometimes too though, it’s important for those who are more established to remember that they were newbies once too. I think sometimes people forget where they have come from.
Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it 🙂
Everyone was a newbie once upon a time! Every one of us.
Thanks for reading : )
I love this post Annette. I’m also a believer of encouragement, it does wonderful things. Being a beginner is great, but scary too and the power of those words cannot even be measured. I’m glad I started my blogging journey in the supportive Pipster community. Thanks again for sharing your words. X
Isn’t it powerful Emily? It definitely has changed the course of my life, more than once.
Beautiful Annette, I think too we need to find the fun in being new at something and enjoy not being great at things straight away!
Kids have that don’t they? We lose it as we “grow up”. Such a shame.
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