Never Ready

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I’ve been swing dancing off and on for over ten years now and there’s a common fear and belief I see among many beginner dancers.  A lot of people who are new to dancing are afraid to ask other people to dance or participate in the social dances because they feel like they are not good.  Some people won’t even try to dance because they never learned how and don’t want to go through the awkward stage of learning.  For some reason, many people seem to be under the impression that we have to be good at something right from the start before we are willing to try it, or that we need to have some kind of natural ability that gives us prodigy-like skill at something in order to feel qualified to get into it.  It is a very backwards way of thinking.  You don’t get good before you start, you start so that you can become good!

People don’t like to be in a position where they are ignorant or unskilled at something they are attempting to do.  People want to look good all the time and in everything.  However, this prideful notion of needing to be good before even attempting something is not practical or realistic.  As any successful person knows, whether it’s in dance, art, science, business or anything else in life, you fail your way to success.  Failure and mistakes are not things to be avoided, they are things to be valued.  You don’t go into something wanting to fail, but sometimes it will take multiple tries in order to get it right, and that is not a bad thing.  It is called learning.

People who are determined not to “look bad” or not to try something new until they feel “ready,” are the ones who are doomed to keep saying, “someday I’ll do this thing,” yet that someday never comes.  Or, they may be the ones who simply think, “I can’t,” and therefore never try.  As other very successful people have also pointed out to me, you will always miss 100% of the shots that you never take.  There may never come a time when you actually feel ready, because in order to feel “ready” you have to learn how to do what you want to do.  The first day you start, you will not be ready, because it is your first day.  It is impossible to be ready for something before you learn about it.  It takes courage and confidence to try without being ready.  You become ready through the process of experience and practice.

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The achievement of goals and dreams do not come without the risk of failing and making mistakes along the way.  Achievements are created by making mistakes along the way.  The best things in life take effort and persistence.  They will not be handed to you on a silver platter, and if they were, you would not appreciate them nearly as much.  Success is much sweeter when you work hard for it, otherwise it hardly feels like your own success.  The value comes from the journey.  The journey shapes and molds you along the way, so that the final product holds deep personal significance and joy.  Any attempt to skip the journey and go straight to the reward makes the reward empty, and will inevitably hold no long lasting satisfaction for the receiver of the handout.

Don’t be afraid of not feeling “ready” to try something new.  Maintain reasonable safety practices, but don’t let fear or discomfort stop you from trying something.  Dare to take the first step.  No one who is good at something started at that level.  It is important to just start, and the skills will develop along the way.  Don’t wait for “someday” to come.  Make that “someday” today!  Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so start prioritizing your dreams so that they have a real chance at becoming a reality.  There will always be other things demanding your attention and resources, but you must ask yourself where you will be in one, two, five or more years down the road if you keep allowing your goals and desires to be pushed back and procrastinated.  Make today the day that you begin working toward your true desires.  No one else is going to drop them in your lap, it’s time to start seeking them out.  Use your journey to encourage others along the way!

Success Path

Value the journey!

 

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One thought on “Never Ready

  • Yet another fantastic post. I have actually found myself in the exact situation you were talking about with dancing. I was at a social dance and I was very hesitant to ask anyone to dance because I was a complete beginner. I was not only afraid of looking bad, but I kind of felt bad for anyone who would be my partner because of my lack of skill. I went up to the first person and actually managed to blurt out an invitation along with an explanation of my lack of skill. To my surprise, she seemed happy to accept. We went out to dance I would like to say that everything went really well, but it did not. I was new and did not know what I was doing. But she was a great sport and by the end I had gotten a little better. Throughout the course of the evening, I asked a few people to dance and had some ask me to dance as well. Always with the explanation that I was a complete beginner. Oddly, it did not scare anyone off, and many of the ladies were very encouraging. By the end of the evening I had even learned a few new things. All in all, I was glad I took the chance. Does this mean I am “good” now? Definitely not, but I am at least a few steps closer and have gotten encouraged to continue on.
    As far as not staring until you are “ready”, I have heard so many people say something about waiting to have children until they are “ready”. I vowed to never think that way about children myself, because without having experienced it, there is no way to be “ready.” But you make a good point here, that it goes beyond children. It is true of everything. You are never “ready” until you try.
    I also really like what you had to say about taking the journey to get the reward. I couldn’t agree with you more. Anything worth having, takes work. Without the work, the value can never be appreciated. Keep working towards your goal and never give up. That is the only time you fail. I saw a sign recently that said “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”

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