When you feel you’re not very good at something, especially if it’s something that is personal, or something at which you really want to be good, it’s not a nice place to be. I wrote a blog last year about feeling this way in relation to music.
And unfortunately it’s true. Trying to become skilled at something new can be hard. The older you get the harder it is.
In this context, I have often come across the example of the baby trying to walk. If she falls down, she just gets up and tries again – and the implication is that so should we when we fail at whatever new skill we are attempting. The complications of life mean that it mightn’t always be this easy, but the sentiment is a good one.
However the other thing about the baby trying to walk is the attention she gets from interested parents and other relatives. The constant concern and encouragement from significant others is no doubt a help to her, and I believe that as we get older this becomes even more important.
Because no matter whether you feel good about your abilities elsewhere, or if you don’t, the feeling of being bad at something is not a nice one. But it is necessary feeling if you are going to get past that stage to the point where you feel more confident.
And it is at that very point where you need the encouragement of others more than ever. An accurate and well-intentioned compliment to someone starting out often means more than one to somebody already at the top of their game.
So keep an eye out for someone who might need one.