We all want to be great, or at least be told that we’re great.
That’s one of the main reasons we fail to do the things that make us great.
The acquisition of any new skill necessitates the temporary appearance and experience of mediocrity.
In a Summer Basketball camp I attended during my High School years, the coach was fond of saying that if we weren’t making mistakes, then we were failing to sufficiently challenge ourselves.
We look brilliant only during those moments when we’re performing inside of our comfort zones. Comfort zones are a wonderful and essential part of life, but they don’t make us better. When we’re attempting to grasp or accomplish something that’s out of our league, we fumble the ball, we hesitate, we stumble around, and we make rookie mistakes because we’re still consciously thinking about the new habit we’re trying to develop.
Such an experience is humbling and no one wants to look like a clown. The unwillingness to be vulnerable, can stop us dead in our tracks from taking the risks necessary to learn. The need to look cool can easily prevent us from actually becoming cool.
How do we turn the tide?
We begin by recognizing that the appearance of incompetence is merely evidence of mastery in progress. The only reason we ever look or feel “uncool” is because we’re exercising the courage to explore new territory. When we see it that way, our feelings of shame and self-consciousness are replaced with a sense of pride and self-respect.
Once you start wearing the pride and self-respect of someone who chooses to live fearlessly, you begin to look and feel cool because you really are cool.
Don’t just look cool. Be cool. Get out there and take some chances. The world will become a much cooler place when you do.