When starting a business, the prevailing advice is: Just get started. Don’t wait for it to be perfect. Take action. And I think that makes a lot of sense in other areas too.
When learning to speak a new language for example, you’re going to sound ridiculous for a while. The people who learn new languages quickly are those who jump in, immerse themselves in the culture and the lifestyle, and don’t worry about sentence structure being perfect or grammar being textbook. They’re successful because they’re focused on just plain communicating and connecting. They use hand gestures, body language, eye contact, tone of voice etc, any means necessary to communicate…and eventually the structure of the language supplies itself to fit the demand.
It’s the same with a new sport or movement. Forget about being perfect. Forget about technique for a second. Wrap your head around the idea of the movement, the feeling of what you’re trying to accomplish, and let that guide you. If you’re learning to wrestle, don’t fixate so much on mastering all the intricacies of your stance, and then forget to get your hands on an opponent. You need to get the sense of what it’s like to move someone around, and be moved in turn. If you’re learning how to row, at some point you’re going to get into a shell. Be unsteady, look silly, feel like a novice, do a flip-test, swim, get back in.
We’ve all gone through this when trying to learn something new. For me it’s always been excruciating…I hate looking silly or incompetent. But I value the end goal too and so I stick with most things. I went from feeling helpless and frustrated on medical calls to being competent and focused. I went from feeling shaky and hurting in overhead squats, to them being one of my favorite CrossFit movements. I made a fool out myself many times as a Ski Patroller, but gradually became a leader on the team. I am looking for the next weakness to become better at. My project now is better shoulder mobility, and making the Clean & Jerk my strong suit, instead of the movement I dread.
In business, fitness, skilled trade, career, or language, finding forward momentum lifts you up and keeps wind under your wings, so you can come back and shore up the nuts and bolts later.
Lisa calls this process “Building the plane while you’re flying it”, and it’s like – well what’s keeping you in the air while you build?
I think it’s mostly about not looking down.