Note: “Look Far” has a new look. I hope you enjoy it (I know I do!). 🙂
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki
When we are children everything is a new beginning and being a beginner is no big deal, we don’t even think about it. Being a beginner means learning a new subject in school, practicing a new sport or experiencing a new part of nature. As kids, these things are exciting and we have no embarrassment at being new to them. Without beginnings we would stay inexperienced.
But as we get older, out of our teenage years and into adulthood, our attitude changes about being a beginner. Suddenly, being a beginner isn’t desirable, because we feel embarrassed about our lack of experience. Especially as we begin to develop experience in other areas of life, the thought of being a beginner in another area makes us uncomfortable. But, just like when we were kids, beginning’s mean new growth. Don’t be afraid to be a beginner again, without it you are just standing still.
Feeling Like An Idiot
Being a beginner requires you to admit that you don’t know everything, and many of us hesitate to put ourselves in this situation. Gaining expertise in certain areas of your life feels good – people come to you with questions, you can use your own judgment to solve problems and life feels comfortable. This is why putting yourself in beginner’s shoes again is uncomfortable – you don’t want to feel like (or look like) an idiot in front of other people. Beginner’s have to ask many questions and make mistakes in order to learn, and sometimes we forget that being uncomfortable is simply a part of growth.
Sometimes you become a beginner when you are starting over. You left your last job, you moved to a new city, or you parted ways with your last relationship partner. It can be uncomfortable to be a beginner again in an area that you already had expertise. But, when you recognize that you are going in the wrong direction, starting over is the only way to go. If you wanted to drive to Miami, but realized you were going towards New York, would you simply keep going because you didn’t want to turn around? No, you would pull off the highway and turn your car in the other direction. Sometimes you have to go back the way you came in order to go forward.
The great news about being a beginner is that beginning’s mean growth. Sometimes, life puts a situation in your path that forces you to become a beginner, but you also need to be on the lookout for situations in which you can choose to be a beginner again. Learning to work through discomfort in new situations is a critical life skill. There are so many things that you can do if you are comfortable starting over at the beginning every once in a while.
Don’t be afraid to start over. Beginners are actually experts at growth. 😉
Have you been a beginner recently? What did you begin and what growth occurred because of it? Feel free to leave your answers in the comments section!