I don’t know the first time I threw a ball, but I do know I was terrible at it.
I probably threw it further away from my target than the ball was before I threw it. At that time, failure didn’t exist. Disappointment didn’t exist. I was just playing.
All of this playing led to learning that led to becoming better at throwing that lead to me playing baseball, and being a pitcher for 6 years. That means that I went from completely missing the target to being asked to pitch because I kept hitting the target.
When was the last time you did something for the first time and it came out perfect?
Most likely, never.
After it didn’t come out perfect did you give up?
This is what most of us do. Willingly doing something that you know you aren’t too good at is uncomfortable. We would rather make an excuse so we never have to try that thing again.
“It just doesn’t come naturally to me.”
It doesn’t come naturally to anyone at first.
People learn quicker when they don’t care about how bad they are, how they are being judged, or how many mistakes they make. This state of being also unlocks a flow state that makes them look like it came “naturally” to them.
Everyone who is a “natural” does not care about what people think of them or how many mistakes they make, which gives them more opportunities for learning and growth.
Skill takes practice. Practice becomes easy and fun when mistakes don’t matter. Mastery comes naturally, when you naturally practice mastery.
“It’s not worth all the effort.”
Sometimes, it really isn’t worth all the effort. I would have stopped mastering throwing skills if I didn’t enjoy baseball, and accepted the fact that I’m not going to be a baseball player.
Also, you may be creating the illusion of it not being worth it because it is to scary and uncertain for you. What if you were an amazing public speaker or a great communicator? How much would your life change for the better if you were a master at communicating?
Effectively communicating with a group and with a person is a universally important skill, yet one of the most common fears is public speaking, and poor communication is what destroys relationships quicker than anything else.
Why are we not mastering skills that positively effect every aspect of our lives in every moment?
Simply because we focus on the mistakes, judgements, and failures. We make the already uncomfortable task of mastering a skill into something we don’t even want to think about. We make excuses before we even allow ourselves to imagine how amazing life will be when we commit to mastering a skill.
Imagine the deep connections you will form when you master the art of listening, empathy, and compassion. Imagine how many people’s lives you will contribute to when you master the art of public speaking.
Your life endlessly expands when you stop thinking about the imaginary target that you missed, pick up the ball, throw it again, and repeat. Focus on each little improvement you can make and what you can learn from each mistake, instead of the outcome. When you master the skills that lead to more love and contribution, you will always exceed your expected outcomes. (and remember, excuses and failures don’t exist until you make them exist.)