Be a beginner.
Being a beginner isn’t always fun.
There’s that awkward stage where you’re sure everyone around you knows more than you and they’re judging you for not knowing as much as they do. Yep, you’re a newbie.
And people don’t always make it easy to be new. Raise your hand if you’ve ever confessed to not knowing what you’re doing only to have someone be condescending towards you?
(My hand’s raised, for sure.)
When we feel awkward or embarrassed to try something new in an unsupportive environment, it’s easy to throw in the towel. It’s frustrating feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing. And it’s not easy to see how being awkward is temporary, and that we’ll improve if we just try a bit longer.
But if we don’t try something new, we’ll never grow. We’ll always be in the same place – wondering if we could have done more, been more, understood more.
Regret is for the birds!
Want that instant satisfaction of knowing everything there is to know to be an expert and totally skip over that awkward stage? Me too.
I’m here to tell you that the awkward stage is necessary (and totally manageable) to grow as a human being.
But understanding a couple things about being a beginner will make it a bit easier.
A few years ago, I was taking a 200 hour yoga teacher training (because I apparently needed to test my self-esteem). One of my teachers said, “Be a beginner.”
Let me repeat that: “Be a beginner.”
No matter how much we knew about yoga, she wanted us to start from scratch. She wanted us to release any expectations of how a pose “should” feel.
Getting permission to be a beginner let us feel freer to explore poses that we expected to feel a certain way.
Once we have an expectation, it’s tough to overcome. Just about everyone who tells me they want to do yoga but haven’t say it’s because “they’re not flexible.” What I tell them is the whole point of yoga is to increase flexibility, so if they never try it, they’ll never improve their flexibility. It’s a Catch 22 the way they see it.
The same thing goes for mindfulness or meditation. Almost everyone I talk to who wants to take time to quiet their minds (whether it’s sitting quietly or meditating) say they don’t do it because they can’t clear their mind of all their thoughts.
Their expectation is that they must silence their mind completely to meditate “successfully.” Which is sooooo far from the truth.
The expectations we have of how we’re “supposed” to do things hold us back from starting something new and being a beginner.
Mindfulness and meditation are practices. We are always going to have thoughts; our brains are wired that way. Meditation/mindfulness is a practice of seeing those thoughts pass through our brain. They’ll keep coming. All we do it watch and observe where our brains wander. And maybe that’ll give us insight into our patterns of thought and behaviors.
Being in a supportive environment makes it a lot easier to be a beginner.
When I first started yoga, I hated it. I felt uncoordinated and like I was the only one who didn’t know what I was doing in the room. (I also felt weak because I couldn’t do all the pushups/chattarungas).
Of course, I felt that everyone was judging me (which is why I put off starting yoga for so long in the first place.)
Guess what? No one’s paying attention to what you’re doing because they’re wrapped up in what they’re doing themselves.
Once I learned this, it made being a newbie much easier.
I pushed though the awkward stage. I decided that I was going to keep going because it felt good after I was done. Even though I hated every moment on my mat.
Once I made it through the awkward stage, and accepted that I was a beginner, I felt 100% better. I had to suck before I could shine. And having supportive people around me who weren’t judge despite my awkwardness was essential.
If you’re new to anything, embrace your newness. You only get one chance to be new.
You only get one opportunity to explore a subject for the first time. It may be awkward at first, but you can do it. Pretty soon, you’ll be shining.
Try being a beginner. The next time something new comes up, say yes! The worst that can happen is that you feel a bit awkward. So what?
Here’s a good place to start.
If you’re willing to be a beginner and want to transform your life in 21 Days, join the free 21 Day Tea Ritual Challenge.
It’s a mindfulness practice that’ll make you happier in 10 minutes a day.
You’ll have support throughout. I’ll send you daily motivational and inspirational emails to keep you going. You’ll also have access to a new Private Facebook Group just for members of the free 21 Day Tea Ritual Challenge where you can share your wins and feel new in a comfortable environment.
Whether you’re new to tea or new to taking time to yourself to unplug, you’ll be in a group of people with the same goal – doing something new that puts themselves first.
Are you in for the free 21 Day Tea Ritual Challenge?
Say “yes” in the comments below, and click here to join in!
Founder, Tea Lover & Seeker
Sicilian Tea Company