For our God is a consuming fire.

-Hebrews 12:29

Friday, July 30, 2010

Be Willing to Suck

Hold your horses! I mean this title in a positive, inspiring way :) A posting on Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Life site about life lessons got me to thinking; especially #8 which I'm pasting here:

"Be willing to suck at it! If you want to learn something new and get good at it, you have to be willing to suck at it. The key is to “be willing” and put your ego on the shelf while you are learning. So don’t let fear stop you from learning something new. Just be willing to suck as you learn it."

You can't let fear stop you from learning something new. One tenant of my current vision statement is LIVE FEARLESS! I included this because I need a constant reminder that it is ok to suck sometimes. No one can start off as the best at everything. Yet, I really really dislike not being good at things. Umm, newsflash dearheart: You are human, limited and imperfect. Sucking is inevitable, and as the picture prooves, can be cute!

I'm reminded of a high school memory that I feel has embedded a fear of failure in my heart. As a cheerleader (for those that know me only as an adult, yes I did the cheerleader thing ;), I was one of only two sophomores to make the varsity squad. Apparently, I made the team by the skin of my teeth as I was the absolute worst cheerleader of the lot. Our coach would regularly single me out during practices as having shoulders too high, moves off beat, lunges too shallow. I began to dread practices, and deplored the humilating aspects of her approach. After all, I was in the presence of senior cheerleaders, and who wanted to be noticed for their lack in front of respected peers?

I guess I began to internalize all coach's notes and make some changes. One practice towards the end of the season, we were mid-cheer when coach stopped everyone and said "Let's all watch W do this move." I was mortified. Fully expecting another tongue lashing, I repeated the cheer and popped back into a lunge. Coach had me hold the pose. "Look at how deep her lunge is. Watch how she twisted. I want you all to do it like that." H-O-L-Y-J-U-N-K. That was unexpected.

At the end of season banquet, I got the "Most Improved" award (which true to form, I interpreted as "Worst Cheerleader, Let's Throw Her a Bone" award). It came complete with the headstock of someone else's old trophy, no trophy body, no plaque with my name on it...just a goldish figurine trophy top and hearty handshake. However, along with that 20-cent momento, there may have been some actual improvement involved. That part is good. What's not so good is how I may have allowed that humiliation to deter me from trying new things later in life. To this day, if I don't shoot out of the cannon with perfection in round one, I'm loathe to try again. That's just not healthy.

In three months, our daughter will be born. This will be our first go at parenthood, and I'm anticipating I'll be somewhat sophomoric on this team as well. I need to embrace this fact and welcome some humiliations, or I really will suck at parenting. If I can't dust myself off and try again with conviction and enthusiasm, what lessons will I be teaching our girl? So, "Live Fearless" remains a motto with renewed incentive. It's not just me I'm living for, but another generation of fragile feminity is at stake. No! I much prefer powerful females emerge from our youth.

Dearest daughter and all who may someday read this, let's band together us gals, shall we? Let's dive into the deep end of our fears, confront possible failure and enjoy the learnings and friendships along the way. Courage is not the lack of fear, but proceeding ahead in its presence. Maybe I should rephrase my vision statement to "Live Courageous!" Either way, be willing to suck! The only thing we have to lose is a few shallow lunges and our ignorance.