How Being Awful Taught Me to Produce Awesome
Updated: Sep 22
Prodigies are great, but most of us are not them. Sometimes we have to suck first before we get really good at something. THAT IS NORMAL. The noise of influences has us thinking “success” should be instant, and the fear of judgement holds so many of us captive to stagnation.
Are you stressed because you really can’t do it? Or because you’re being challenged in a way that pokes on your insecurities? Is it possible that you’re misdiagnosing discomfort as stress? What if I told you discomfort is not a sign to quit - but that you may be on the brink of growth!
As I’ve said before, it is human nature to immediately seek relief from discomfort. I’m challenging you today to lean into the discomfort.
Questions to Prompt Reflection
What about this makes me uncomfortable?
While new things excite some, they terrify others. That’s okay! It’s helpful to reflect on the answer to this question, as you may find yourself with this question again in the future.
What insecurities are coming up for me?
“The last time I tried, I was so embarrassed. I looked incompetent to my superiors and friends.” You’d be surprised how much shame from years ago sticks to us. The fear of failure is such a bully. It threatens the inevitable (messing up), and magnifies its impact (no one has actually died of embarrassment). Stand up to fear. I'm not saying to never be scared. I'm saying to do it anyway, even if you're scared. This reminds me of my first speech where my voice shook for the first 20 minutes...well, probably 2 minutes but it felt like 20! Had I waited for the fear to subside before I tried, it would have never happened, nor would I have learned how impactful of a speaker I can be.
Why am I responding this way?
Ever had a moment where you regretted spewing such harsh words and it seemed like it came out of no where? I remember I was having a conversation with my book club circle, and the conversation led to a time where I was hurt from being iced out by a friend. Before I knew it, I was that hurt college girl again who regretted putting herself out there…and it showed! I got off the call and thought, “Whoa! Where did that come from?” Two minutes later I called back and apologized to the entire group. I had to ask myself, “Why did I respond that way?” The truth is, that conversation brought to surface my insecurity around rejection. Now imagine had I been too stubborn to ask myself that (and honestly answer). I would have completed a self-fulfilling prophecy of being alone not because I’m unworthy, but because remaining unhealed is a repellant to healthy, sustainable relationships.
Am I viewing myself as a victim when I’m not? Is this a pattern for me?
Sometimes we really are victims. Other times, we are not. My friend, are you the hopeless damsel in distress in ALL of your stories? Are you ALWAYS being wronged? If so, it’s time to do some deeper reflection. Either you’re the world’s unluckiest person, or you dodge accountability like my nephew dodges bedtime.
Why am I defensive about that?
The fangs just came out. Now it’s time to ask the question why. Is it passion or pain?
Is my well-being actually at risk? Or just my ego?
Discomfort can sometimes scream, “I’m unsafe!"; but just because it yells that doesn’t mean it’s always true. Sometimes the only thing that is at risk is our ego…and a little humble pie has never hurt anyone.
What can I stand to learn from this?
Had I forced the box that I wanted to keep myself in out of fear of failing, I wouldn’t be where I am today - and I’m just getting started. My seemingly overwhelming internships prepared me to be an outstanding therapist gave me a head start in residential therapy. My stepping out on faith with Pretty Proverbs by speaking, teaching myself how to build websites (I apologize to anyone who had to endure that first draft), and creating our digital presence from scratch prepared me to be hired as the Marketing Coordinator for an entire umbrella company. And there’s no way I cannot mention how I did not believe there was ANYTHING to learn from the grief that engulfed me after losing my mom; but I dare say I have learned compassion, faith and fortitude, empathy, and the power of God’s hand beyond what I could imagine before.
While many of us fear that too much reflection may make us sad or hopeless, I’d argue that there’s another side to that. Reflection is a gateway to HOPE. There’s something on the other side of that discomfort! While we cannot change our past, we can certainly make sense of it, recognize its impact, and (my favorite) CHANGE how we respond to it. You may find that you’re still responding instead of living.
I am confident you’ll be surprised what you can achieve when you lean in beyond what you have before. Come back and tell me about it when you do!
P.S. If you're in or around Jonesboro, AR this weekend, join me this Saturday as Mo'Nique and I share with our Pretty Proverbs sisters for our Saturday Night V.I.B.E session @ 5 PM on the campus of Arkansas State in the Cache River Room.