Allowing myself to be a beginner

This subject has been on my mind for years, yet I’m struggling to organise my thoughts in a way that makes sense. Not being able to begin a post about being a beginner? Talk about irony. 

I’ve always found it extremely hard to begin anything. From when I took guitar lessons at 10 years old to when I decided to start a blog a few weeks ago, getting started is the hardest part of any journey I’ve been on. Why? Simple –⁠ because I’m scared of failure. 

Let’s throw it back a little. As a child, I was known for getting frustrated very easily, especially when I started a new activity but didn’t see results as fast as I wanted to. This mindset hasn’t left me yet, and I still get stressed when I don’t reach a certain goal by a certain timeframe (aka as soon as possible). So what is it about being a beginner that freaks me out so much?

I’ve already spotted the main issue –⁠ I’m scared of failing. Terrified, more like. The mere thought of not being good enough haunts me every day, and sometimes it just seems easier to not begin at all. You can’t fail at something if you don’t even start, right? Jackpot. 

This fear of failure is particularly present when I choose to begin a new activity. For example, when I was 14 my therapist recommended I try yoga to ease my anxiety and reduce my depression. My first few classes were an absolute nightmare –⁠ I couldn’t relax, I wasn’t breathing properly, and I couldn’t even do a forward fold. My first thought was “great, I suck at this”.

 At home, I would search for intermediate to advanced yoga videos and stretch my body to its absolute limits just so I could skip the beginner phase. I just wanted to do full splits, nail Crow Pose, and touch my head with my foot –⁠ was that too much to ask?!

Another example is this blog. I’ve gotten frustrated a few times because I feel like it looks too empty or I only have a handful of posts instead of hundreds. This brings me to the second reason why I don’t like being a beginner: I lack patience. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, patience is not my strong suit. I’m known for refusing to watch movies over 2 hours long (except for John Wick because, well, it’s John Wick) as well as putting off any new hobbies that I think will take ‘too long’ for me to get good at. It’s almost as if I’ve forbidden myself from enjoying the journey altogether.

Beginnings are messy and imperfect, two big words that trigger my fear of failure. It takes time, effort, and commitment to move from beginner to intermediate to advanced –⁠ and the impatient side of me has NO time for that. There it is. That’s why I don’t like starting new things. 

Looking back, I can think of many times when I’ve been too focused on the finish line to appreciate the process. At some point in my life I unconsciously tied my value as a person to how good I am at something, and I’m finally starting to undo that thorny knot of self-doubt, fear, and impatience. It may take a while, but having poured these words on here will serve as a map to guide my next steps. 

Who knew you could learn so much about yourself by just writing stuff down?

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