How To Be A Beginner And Still Kick Ass
I'm so Type A it's almost not even funny. I want to know how to do it (anything...all the things) the right way and I'll do it myself thank you very much. Practice is hard for me - if I'm not naturally good at something, I just don't want to do it. Sitting with the discomfort of not being the best at whatever it is, or with knowing I don't know the first clue about whatever is really, really irritating.
This is not to say that I fear change - quite the opposite in fact.
If I determine I need to make a change, it's usually a big one and I jump in with both feet and figure it the f#*k out. If I need to make a change in my business? Ok, pivot time, let's do it.
But personal changes such as lifestyle, relationships, and/or emotional? Eek.
Right now I am going through a true beginner experience that has forced me to just. deal. with. it.
In my long-time quest to come up with some form of exercise or sport that doesn't bore me or take too much time, I have discovered bouldering. Bouldering is like rock climbing without the top-rope and not as high (both related factors). There also happens to be a bouldering/yoga gym not even 10 minutes from my house - key point.
Bouldering is hard. Really hard. It's also the most complete total body workout I have experienced that induces complete muscle failure within 30 minutes - another key point.
The tracks up the "boulders" are all different levels of difficulty and are called "problems". By completing a track, you have "solved a problem". I love that.
This sport has also forced me to be ok with being a beginner. I do not yet have the hand strength to use any of the holds but the easiest. I do not yet have the upper body strength to do any tracks that have an overhang or upside down angle to them. Knowing I'm a beginner also informs the fact that if I try to do too much too soon I'll most likely injure myself.
Every time I go, I start with an easy win or two. I use these tracks to warm up and settle my confidence. Then I'll look for a track that is at my skill level but one I haven't done before - while my muscles are still fresh. Then I'll try one that is a level above what I'm used to - I'm at about a 50/50 success rate with those. Then I'll go back to beginner tracks I'm comfortable with to regain my confidence. I'll continue this pattern until I'm at muscle fatigue and I can't feel my fingers. At the end of my workout, I feel like I have kicked so much ass I can do anything. Roar!
By sticking to this plan, every time I go I am stronger, more comfortable, and more confident. I always accomplish something I haven't done before, but most of my time is spent continuing to build my base of strength and technique.
The same technique holds true to anything you are trying to learn as a beginner.
Let's use social media strategy as an example.
- You don't know how to utilize all your social media accounts effectively, so you start with the one or two that your target audience is on.
- You build your foundation of content and followers on those one or two social networks every time you use social media for your business or brand.
- You engage with your audience consistently to build your comfort level and strength.
- Once a week, you test something on those one or two social networks that you haven't tried before.
- Once a week you study or read about a social network you think you want to expand to next and plan your problem-solving.
- Continue to come back to your original social networks to improve your technique.
- Your launch into a new social network is your graduation from being a beginner.
Makes sense right?
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