You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you can actually learn to like being a beginner, the world will open up to you. ~Barbara Sher
When was the last time you were a beginner at something… and actually enjoyed it?
Think about it… no one, I mean NO ONE likes being the new guy at work! How many times have you hesitated asking a question or trying something new because you didn’t want to appear foolish or inexperienced?
Have you ever avoided doing something new because of uncertainty, the risk of embarrassment or the chance you might not be able to do it as well as other people?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident and self-assured, unless it prevents you from growing. The need to always appear in control and knowledgeable can create unnecessary stress, prevent you from taking advantage of opportunities to learn new skills, and potentially suck the joy right out of any efforts you may undertake to change your life for the better.
Cultivating a beginner’s mindset is about embracing limitless possibilities.
If you have dreams of doing great things, of mastering the skills to empower you to avoid getting sidetracked by life’s inevitable challenges and detours… of creating a more meaningful life that is aligned with your values and dreams, it’s time to open your mind to the beauty of being a beginner.
- Beginners have nothing to prove. Embracing your status as a beginner effectively eliminates the stress of worrying about being ‘right’ all the time; which means you’ll be more confident when it comes to asking important questions. You are also more inclined to be kind to other beginners as a result of your experience and new found appreciation for the opportunities and benefits.
- Beginners have the freedom to try new things, change their minds, and even fail. Having the freedom to try new things and change direction is powerful stuff because you never know when you may discover marvelous new skills or passions. In fact, achieving meaningful success in life requires a certain amount of failure, usually a lot. Of course no one likes to talk about the ‘F’ word but ask any highly successful person, and they will tell you they failed frequently and spectacularly to get where they are. Remember, in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.
- It’s human nature to be kind and forgiving to beginners. We exhibit more patience and (most of us) go out of our way to be helpful to beginners. We understand it takes courage to be willing to grow and we tend to be freer with encouragement and praise than we would be with those who are more experienced and for whom we have higher expectations.
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
As comforting as it may be to feel confident and secure, snug in the various roles you fill in your life story, there is unimaginable beauty and freedom to be found when you have the courage to step outside your comfort zone and open yourself to the opportunity of being a beginner, exploring the possibilities available – now- to create your own life experience by living your life by design…