Here’s my little secret for today: I’m not really that good at a lot of things. I was never a great athlete as a kid. Oh, I played a lot of pick up sports and wrestled in High School but I wasn’t great. I never was any good at wearing the “cool” clothes. I really wanted to look cool and wear that stuff but on me those things just looked… not right. I was a decent student at school but not the best. When it comes to writing I am slow to get started and irregular (if you’ve been keeping up here, you know what I mean). As a person, I have a lot of faults. When it comes to racing bikes I will certainly not be any competition for Lance Armstrong.
In fact, by not thinking I was good enough was my mental block from doing a lot of things. I didn’t jump in to cyclocross or any bike racing for several years because I thought “I’m not good enough”. When I played guitar it took Nick Riff hearing some of my music and asking me to be part of his band – an idea I never would have approached before because I thought my guitar playing was not good enough. There are a lot of things that I didn’t try or at the least, held off from trying for a long while because I thought I wasn’t good enough.
Don’t let thinking that you are not good enough stop you from doing something you really want to do. It’s been a gradual revelation to me. Once you say “So what?” and do it anyways, you will find out you will probably exceed your expectations. There’s nothing like throwing yourself in a situation where it’s sink or swim. Often times you find that you can swim. Many times you find that you can swim much better that you thought.
And if you don’t perform all that well, what then? Unless you’ve decided to go running with the bulls or naked skydiving with no instruction I think you’ll be fine. Decide to start a band and no one shows up? Or better yet, you start with a bar full of folks and after song number three they all have wandered off? I know that feeling. It’s definitely a bummer but it’s not the end of the world. You didn’t lose a limb. Decide to enter a mud run and realize you just can’t run that much? Guess what? Neither can a lot of people who’ve already entered. Coming in dead last is a blow to the ego but hey, YOU tried. Use it as motivation for the next event. Besides that, even by coming in dead last you are still way ahead of those who did NOT even try.
Don’t think you’re good enough? Need a push? Check out these folks:
Chris, who wrote the book “The $100 start up” that’s been changing many lives has a good starting point here: The Art of Non-Conformity - Qualifications
Need a kick in the pants? Joel is where I turn to when I’m feeling like hanging it up or saying “fuggedaboutit”: The Blog of Impossible Things
How about this? How about “How to stop sucking and be awesome instead”? (geared more toward software writers but as a general idea it’s great stuff)
You might need training or practice. So what. Quit worrying if you’re good enough to accomplish “X”. You already are good enough.