The first time I hosted a workshop, only two people showed up. One of those people was my neighbour who I had bribed to come incase no-one rocked up but a solo axe-murderer type.
It’s a good job she agreed to come along, because although the other person wasn’t an axe-murderer type, and really was quite lovely, it would have been even more awkward than it already was.
During that workshop, I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me hole. I felt humiliated and couldn’t stop mentally cringing. I worried the whole time about what the lovely-woman-who-had-bothered-to-rock-up must have been thinking, like, “Erm, helllooooooo, where the bugger is everyone else?” I was convinced that I was the world’s worst coach. That I would never get my coaching practice off the ground. That no-one would ever come to my workshops. That the business dream I had was just that. A dream.
What I didn’t know then, that I do know now, is that nearly everything the first (or second or third) time round is a bit shit. Whether it’s sex, or the very first months of a new job when you don’t know anyone or where the canteen is, or training for a half marathon or writing the opening chapter of the book you’re writing, it’s normal for things—and you—to feel a bit (or very) out of whack.
I don’t know where the expectation comes from, for us to be really good at everything right off the bat. Do you?
My kid walked for the first time last week. 5 wobbly, uncertain steps. He was grinning from ear to ear. And so was I. He was not at all really good at walking. He looked like a drunk old man staggering towards the bar, and yet I thought no less of him, and I’m sure in his little one-year-old-head, he thought no less of himself either.
He’s learning. Every day. Something new. Figuring stuff out. Growing. Changing.
And so are you. You always have been. You always will be.
It’s ok to not be good at things. It’s ok to be in learning-mode. It’s ok to still be finding your feet. It’s ok to be uncertain. It’s ok to be scared. It’s ok to not know what you’re doing. It’s ok to be a bit shit.
Really! It’s ok to be a bit shit!
I say let’s give ourselves permission to be more shit at things more often.
Let’s be ok not having it all figured out.
Let’s revel in the awkward fumbling of sex with someone for the first time. Let’s wave a giant flag for the first training run when your lungs burn and your calves feel like a knife is being dragged up them backwards and you think you’re going to pass out. Let’s celebrate in staring at your laptop, at the first few paragraphs of your book in all their unfiltered, messy, grammatically incorrect glory. Let’s whoop and holler as you sit at your brand new desk at your brand new job, wondering if it’s ok to make a cup of coffee because no-one else seems to be and what if you need a poo while you’re at work, will everyone know? Let’s high five because no-one turned up for your workshop other than your neighbour and one other person (because 3 years later, your workshops will be full and alive and exciting and your business will be thriving.)
Give yourself permission to be shit right now. And most importantly, stick at it.
Because the being really good bit comes later.
“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”
~ Anne Lamott
ps: If you’re having trouble sticking at things, or giving yourself permission to be a bit shit, or just wondering what this life coaching jig is all about, my upcoming Skype course, What Is Life Coaching, Anyway? might just be for you. Click here for more details.