Why do we get so embarrassed when we’re learning a new sport or skill or craft? I call it beginner’s shame.
But life is not TV.
Some of us feel like we can’t claim these things as ours because we will never master it or make money from it. This is where beginner’s shame can come from.
For me, I think that’s just a result of our societal conditioning. There’s more to life than that outward appearance of traditional success. There’s how these things make you feel, how they breathe life into your day, how they make you feel strong or sexy or dynamic.
So let me just say this once; you are legitimate in whatever sport or skill or craft you’re pursuing, at whatever stage you’re at. No matter how much of a boob you think you look like (and hey, maybe you do.) But you are JUST as legitimate as the person sitting next to you twice your age who probably started the thing when you were still in your dads bag.
My advice for beginner’s shame?
Hustle and go for waves just like everyone else.
Claim that wave, not because you have some radical maneuvers to show off with, but because you have a late drop to fail. A bottom turn to completely ruin, a messy wipeout to complete, like a queen. When you pop up to the surface feeling like you just had a spontaneous enema from the angle at which you hit the water, you can wear that arsehole pain with pride.
You did it; you did the thing that most people spend their lives too scared to do.
Can you believe you gave it a shot, and you went back for more?
If you’re learning a new language, accept that there is literally no way to not embarrass yourself a million times a day, and just crack on.
Yes, you may have accidentally told your new boyfriend’s grandmother that you are quite horny today, instead of telling her that the weather is quite hot today. Think about when you were in primary school, and there was that new kid at school who was learning English and you laughed at his accent. Consider this your lifetime penance, and wear it with a smile. Brave are those who try to learn a new language in their adult years.
Here’s the thing.
Whatever it is you’re a beginner at. If you claim that space for what it is, like, I am here, and I am learning, and I do not have to play down how special it is to me. You are creating that space for others to learn without shame, too.
And that, to me, is way cooler than any prodigy or insanely skilled person blowing up the world stage.