Do something you suck at. Not madness, pure genius.
If post-holiday depression has set in and your next holiday is barely even imaginable, do as Ally Carey from substance.cc would do and do something you suck at. Sounds like madness, right? Actually, it’s genius. If you love doing something but you’re really bad at it, that doesn’t mean that you’re not ‘meant’ to do it. The stars aren’t against you, you just haven’t given it enough of a go. So, what are you waiting for?
When was the last time you did something you sucked at for the pure pleasure or for your own enjoyment? It’s probably been a while, hasn’t it?
Over the last few days I have started yoga, like I mentioned I was going to do in my “2015 fitness goals” post. It took me half an hour of deliberation and wasting time to actually begin, but I completed three days of it now. I’m not great at it, but I am giving it a go.
On Tuesday, I drew a picture in my journal / diary and I haven’t drawn in years. I used to love drawing throughout my childhood and teenage years. I studied art/ art history in high school and have a real love for it, but I have lost technique and confidence over the last seven years. It truly is something you need to do regularly to maintain technique – well for me anyway.
On Wednesday, I tried to juggle. Man, I absolutely SUCK at juggling.
On Saturday last weekend I played Super Smash Bros. with Jonathan. Growing up we never had gaming consoles, so I never learned how to play them, thus making me suck big time whenever I play now.
Yesterday, I went out for a surf with Jonathan. I can stand up on little waves, but I am not a good surfer by any stretch of the imagination.
DO SOMETHING YOU SUCK AT
With today’s blog post, I want you to have a think about something you suck at doing, but you enjoy doing nonetheless. I am a big advocate at doing things I may not be good at, but doing them anyway. In my eyes, It’s okay to suck at something, in fact, I think it’s really healthy for you.
Sucking at something, or failing at something can sometimes have you feeling pretty damn bad about yourself. If you mess up or “fail” at something you automatically think of yourself as a loser and you mentally beat yourself you about it for days at a time.
I tried yoga and couldn’t touch my toes like everyone else – therefore I’ll never be able to.
Learning a new language, but not being great at it – therefore I am terrible at learning things
Cooking something you’d never attempted and now your kitchen is a blanket of smoke (and half burnt down) – therefore I am a terrible cook.
Chances are if you think you messed up, you won’t revisit what that thing was. In your mind, it is so much easier to go back to doing something you know you’re good at, instead of trying something new, potentially doing it wrong and embarrassing yourself in the outcome. We’re all so guilty of being scared at being bad at something or someone seeing that we’re bad at something that we go out of our way to avoid it.
Who cares if you’re bad at something!? Maybe reframe your thinking to focus on the positive, or the improvements you’re making. So for the toe-touching, how about saying “I can’t touch my toes, but I’m closer than the last time I tried!”
Even the people who have mastered things, have sucked at one point in their life. No one has just woken up and been a master at it. It’s been said that it takes around 10,000 hours to master something. But they also say that every journey begins with a single step. Maybe today’s the day you make that step?
In this digital age of social media, social sharing, we see a lot of great musicians, artists, celebrities, bloggers, health fiends all showcasing portions of their well lived lives, but you only ever see the finished product. I can guarantee each have gone through the “this is terrible, I’m giving up” phase, the “I’m okay at this, maybe I’ll persevere” phase, the “yeah, yeah, I’m pretty good now, let’s do this” and if they’re making money from it they have obviously finished up at “I love this, you love this, therefore I’m finally awesome at this” stage. The thing that they all have in common is, even though they sucked at the beginning, they enjoyed it so much, they put the hours into whatever their trade is to get better at it. Every little stage above marked the progression of their improvement, and just like them, you can get there too.
Two of the questions I get emailed regularly or asked on Tumblr is “How did you open up your online store”, “How did you begin social marketing – what did you study?”.
When I completed my HSC, I had no idea what I wanted to study – I knew I wanted to do something in Journalism or Fashion, I just wasn’t 100% on what course would suit my needs, so I put studying off and began modeling full-time. From there, I had the idea of opening up a vintage online store, where JD and I would drive the east coastline of Australia finding gems at antique and op-shops, customise them and sell them over at Who Killed Bambi. I didn’t have a business degree, I didn’t have a certificate saying I was a world-class sewing expert, but I had the passion to get this business up off the ground. I could’ve spent that entire year reading every book on how to run a successful business, every book on marketing/social marketing et al, when in reality I just needed to get started by running my own business and building the experience as I went. In the short space of six months, Bambi had been featured on the front cover of Peppermint Magazine, in Frankie, various newspaper articles and more. In that six months I had leveled up in four areas: customer relations, marketing, photo retouching / image editing software skills and garment alteration – I wasn’t really strong in all those areas, but I was willing to continue on because I absolutely loved it. Having Who Killed Bambi made me happier (made me feel like I had purpose), more creative than ever and productive on the days I wasn’t modeling.
By the time we had Bambi for a year, all the skills I had been learning had strengthened so much. Whatever I sucked at, or had trouble wrapping my head around at the beginning all made perfect sense to me, because I had spent the time getting better at it.
WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO TODAY
Today I want you to think about something you love to do, but you suck at. Be honest with yourself, think deep. I want you to spend at least five minutes completing whatever you have chosen – trust me you will be grinning from ear to ear after.
OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD IT COULD BE THINGS SUCH AS:
Painting – paint a picture of something in front of you
Dancing (this one’s for me) – dance stupidly around your house for five minutes.
Lifting weights – complete a five minute strength training workout
Sewing – start off by getting two bits of fabric, sewing all four side together (inside out) and leaving 4CM open, turn the right way, stuff with filler and hand sew the last bit. Voila, you’ve made a cushion!
I want you to do this every day for five minutes, the aim here is to spend the time to get good at something. Everyone has a spare five minutes a day, so don’t make excuses. You’re better than that. I don’t care how much you suck at it right now, or if you suck at it in a month – if you love doing it, just continue to do it if it makes you happy. Check in on yourself weekly to see improvements, and continue at it, until you get good at it.
My goal is to learn how to juggle properly. It’s so much fun, even though I absolutely can not juggle. JD is going to teach me… You can keep updated with my progress at the start of my YouTube videos, from next week.
So, to recap on all of the above. Sucking is okay. Sucking is the beginning of being great at something. Let’s all unite and suck at things together, because we’re human and having fun is the most important thing you can do in your daily life!
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
Would you complete a challenge like this? Have fun, be goofy and who cares if you’re any good! Let me know in the section below, you beautiful person, you!
Written by: Ally Carey