Alright gang, it’s time for some tough love.
In a handful of recent conversations, people I totally adore have provided me with a bogus excuse for not taking action.
They’re on the cusp of trying something new. Some are thinking about starting a business. Others are considering career changes.
Overall they’re excited about these new possibilities.
And then, inevitably, they hit me with this line.
“But I don’t know how.”
There’s resignation in their voices.
A sort of, “Oh well, since I don’t know how, I guess I can’t do it”.
Sneakily, under this “I don’t know how” sentiment are certain other ideas like “I will only do things I know I will succeed at” and “I need to be amazing at everything all the time”.
That sound you hear?
That is me tearing my hair out and jumping around like Yosemite Sam after a dynamite misfire.
Because above all else my wish for you is growth.
And growth comes from extending yourself into the unknown.
It comes from bumping up against the edges of your comfort zone over and over until what was once a challenge becomes a walk in the park.
f you don’t know how to do something the answer is not to throw up your hands with a sigh, saying, “Well, I guess that’s not an option”.
The answer is to get to work on learning how to do it.
Repeat after me party people.
- I am capable of learning how to do new things.
- Mistakes are a part of learning.
- The faster I make mistakes the faster I will get better.
- It’s okay to look like a beached whale during my first, awkward attempts at this new thing.
- My success is not determined by whether or not I am amazing at this thing right away.
- My success is determined by my persistence.
- I will keep trying until I figure it out.
I’m rooting for you. Change “I don’t know how” to “I’m learning how”.
And watch yourself reach new heights.
If you’re at a crossroads with your career and would like support with finding your next, best step, put in an application today!
What’s the last thing you learned? What helped you get through that beginning period of not really knowing what you were doing? Leave a comment below!
All too familiar these excuses… Until I realized nothing is going to change in my life untill I make some changes. So I decided that even though it is super scary I am going to start that business I have been thinking about for so long…
Loved reading this Anna! Scary is okay. In fact, it likely means you’re on the right track. Good luck- I’m rooting for you!
Alison, I took a big risk and quit a job that I was comfortable with and good at (but was a dead-end and did not pay well) for a job that sounded exciting and paid incredibly well. Now I’m here and I’m scared to death that I am in WAY over my head and not even close to being qualified for. I’m honestly not even sure how I got the job. I didn’t lie at all on my resume or during the interviews. I did have a friend (with some influence) put in a good word for me, but I feel like maybe I ‘over-sold’ myself. I am feeling so much anxiety about this new job that I’m worried it will hinder my ability to perform even more. Some questions I’m scared to ask, because I feel like they’re questions that, if I was truly qualified for this position, I would know the answers to. I realize making mistakes is all part of learning and acquiring a new comfort zone, but I’m so scared to look like an idiot. Maybe I should start the job search again? Help!
Hey Megan- Hang in there chica. It sounds like you’re going through a normal adjustment period at a new job. There’s always a tricky mental transition from a job application where everyone presents themselves as completely awesome to entering a job where we suddenly become aware that we’re actually human. It’s okay not to know what you’re doing right away. Your colleagues aren’t expecting you to know everything. Be humble and ask questions, and most importantly, be kind to yourself for the next couple of weeks. You’ll get the hang of it over time. 🙂
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! I need to find some ways to boost my confidence in this new position. How do you get over the fear of making mistakes? It can be so paralyzing!
You might check out these two articles:
An amazing article.
I was terrified of dancing, specially since i’m 22 and never really tried it.
But on my first classes i just went with the flow. that’s it.
Instead of asking “why should I do it?” I asked “why not?” and I just kept on going, even though I actually looked like a beached whale.
And I’m still trying. Hope I will figure it out.
Best of luck Jane! Glad the article struck a cord with you.