It’s Okay if Your First Attempts at Something Suck

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“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You know who really stinks at new things? Babies

At first they really stink at talking, walking, feeding themselves, sleeping, and using the toilet. They are pretty lousy at everything we try to teach them.

And they cry a lot.

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Thank goodness babies have the most incredible persistence.

Have you ever met a baby that gave up after the first day of trying to walk?

Me neither.

I’ve never heard a baby say, “I failed at walking today, so I guess that means I am a failure, and no way am I going to try that again!”

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison

The point is it is perfectly ok to be pretty bad at something the first few times you try it.

Along the way we started to believe that a failed attempt meant that we weren’t good enough. We got embarrassed to admit it if things didn’t go as well as hoped. We became afraid to ask for help.

Fearing failure, we make choices to not venture out too far. We pick things that we know we are good at. We take the safe paths.

**Let’s get over that sort of thinking.**

If you have read many of my posts, you know I am a committed believer in throwing out commonly held beliefs that can hold us back.

Not long ago I started studying German.

Yeah, I’ve heard it a million times, adults can’t learn a language the way children can.

Well, that is great news because small children suck at language.

They hardly know any words, they mispronounce and pick the wrong words for things, and their grammar is horrible.

Even after 18 years of learning, and speaking every day, most people have average language skills.

So there was no reason I couldn’t learn to speak German.

Ich spreche Deutsch wie ein Baby. 😜

Actually, I can speak German like a four year old, so I am right on target.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

If you are letting perfection stop you from taking risks and trying new things, you are missing out on the richness of life!

Yes, it feels lousy to fail at something you really had hoped would succeed. But it also feels lousy to have regrets. It feels lousy to feel stuck.

Right here on Medium you can find dozens of stories about people’s failures. Read a few if you need some inspiration to try again.

Here are some that I have enjoyed recently:

Omer Goldberg I burned my first startup to the ground. Here are some hard lessons learned.

Aleesha Lauray What I Learned from Failing a Good Business Twice

David Smooke when all your writing sucks

“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” Kobe Bryant

Here is the Answer. Fail, make a correction and try again.

That’s what babies do every day.

Fail, make a correction, try again.

Fail, make a correction, try again.

Fail, make a correction, try again.

Babies are tough as nails. They have a lot more grit than most of us. And that is how they succeed.

Now get out there and be like a baby. Pick yourself up, brush off the dust, and try again. And if you fail? Make a correction and try again.

You got this, baby!

As always, I wish you all the best!

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You deserve genuine and lifelong happiness, the type of happiness that can’t be taken away from you no matter what sort of craziness is happening in the world. Read my book, Happy Ever After. We can all use that right now.

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