Do Your Worst, Or You Might Never Do Your Best
We need to get comfortable with the discomfort of screwing up
“You’ll never get the opportunity to do your best work if you’re not willing to first do your worst and then let yourself learn and grow.” Lori Deschene
Is it just me? Or do you prefer people to see you in your best light rather than notice you sometimes struggle? The truth be known, we all flounder occasionally and attempt to hide our difficulties.
But unfortunately, society, or in some cases, our parents, give us the impression we should keep our challenges to ourselves.
The motive behind the idea might be positive, but it causes some of us to want to resist trying new ventures in which we could fail. But if you never try anything new and challenging, how can you know whether it would have changed your life for the better?
The saying “don’t hang your dirty washing on the line” was prevalent when I was a kid.
It would be years before talk shows airing dirty laundry (people’s mistakes and fears) made it to mainstream television.
Now, dirty laundry is fashionable. Indeed, some of us note we know ourselves better through others’ mistakes and trials. We see ourselves in them and their experiences and gain a sense of belonging we never had when dirty laundry remained behind closed doors.
And yet, many people still prefer to let others imagine they’re perfect. They have to have perfect lives, perfect skin, and perfect jobs. You need only look at social media to note the popularity of crafting an ideal profile.
We haven’t gotten over the idea that we should avoid struggling or being seen to struggle. And sometimes, the thought of following our dreams is threatened by the notion we are better off sitting tight and never attempting anything new.
The problem with hiding your struggles
We need to do our worst before we can get ahead. Every new venture begins, well, at the start. When you start, you’re a newbie bound to fall over; that’s part and parcel of the deal. So you take lessons, screw up, and then make better choices.
Until you let people see you screw up and get over your fears about failing, you can’t get to the pleasant, warm fuzzy stage of achievement.
You get nowhere because you sit in a rut of your own making while opportunities to thrive pass by. If you could step out of your comfort zone and grab them, your life might be fantastic.
How can we get comfortable with the discomfort of screwing up?
The best way to get used to anything is to keep doing it, even if it’s getting things wrong and looking like a beginner.
Why do we imagine there’s anything dodgy about people seeing us when we take our first steps?
As infants, we had to learn to walk. We fell repeatedly, but we got up and tried again anyway. Of course, it took an age to stride the way adults do. But we didn’t care who watched or judged us.
If we had, we would have seen our parents wildly motivating us with claps, smiley faces, and praise wrapped in squeaky voices to encourage us.
These days when we screw up, few people want to cheer us on. Partly because we don’t let them see us at our worst and partly because we love our comfort zones.
Remember the old saying, “try, try, and try again?” It describes how you need to recognize you’ll keep going wrong when you take your first steps.
You’ll fall, get up, and have another go until you get it right.
If we want to do our best, we must be prepared to stink at what we do numerous times and let people see us fail. We can’t permanently conceal or avoid our struggles by hiding in a rut.
The only way to get anywhere is to step forward, even if doing so means taking a tumble repeatedly until you succeed.
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Bridget Webber is a writer and nature lover, often found in the woodland, meadow, and other wild places. She writes poetry and stories and pens psychology articles; her love of discovering what rests inside the thicket and the brain compels her to delve deep. She’s appeared in many leading publications and ghostwrites for professionals who can’t spare the time to pen compositions.