We live in a world of instant gratification where life seems to move at the speed of light. We don’t have time to learn to be good at things. We need to be perfect right fucking now.
“This attitude robs us of pleasure of mastering something and the rich journey of getting there.” said in my best adult coach voice.
We let the fear of sucking bind us, anchor us down and keep us from following our joys and passions. When we let that happen, we don’t even give ourselves the chance of becoming good at anything.
Do you think that Picasso never painted anything and thought “Well, that blows.” I think he must have at least once, but he kept on painting anyway. Thank the gods.
We are not instant masters. (not even the masters)
Tips on dealing with Suckness:
Embrace the suck, it’s a glorious place to start. We all have to start somewhere. Whatever level your skills are now, it’s the perfect place for beginning. It might be hard to improve, but you’ll never get any better if you don’t start.
Someone will always be better than you. Harsh right? This isn’t a put down. This is fact, a fact that means absolutely nothing. It’s a bullshit thing, but acknowledging it is important. Why? Because we like to get wrapped up in comparing ourselves to others. I don’t paint as well as Picasso or even my Aunt Carla. It would be easy to use that as an excuse to stop painting. But, it is far more helpful, to look at what they are doing with the eyes of a student. Someone rocking out the thing you want to be good at? Look at what you can learn from them instead of seeing how they are ‘better’ than you.
Make bad art. Making bad, ugly, suck-tastic art is magickal. Seriously. Once you’ve purposely fucked up canvas or wrote the most horrid song in existence, it frees up brain space, relieves stress, and possibly will make you laugh your ass off. And whatever you make after that, will be better.
Practice, Practice, Practice. Practice may or may not make perfect, but it builds skills and moves us in the direction of being the best whatever we can be. Fill that new shiny notebook with your attempted art (that makes it sound a little murderous) Murder those blank pages. Kill those guitar strings. Bludgeon that clay. There is some thing I read somewhere about how it takes 10,000 hours of doing a thing to master it. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know that if you never put in any effort, you’ll never grow your skills.
We all suck at something. Each of us is fully capable of improving. I suck less at cooking than I did before. (I haven’t exploded a glass pan while cooking in years.) In the future, I’ll suck even less. I might not ever be Bobby Flay, but I can feed my family and that is a win.