In my past I used to be pretty hesitant to try new things simply because I didn’t know how to do it. I had rationalized fears in my head that I’ll embarrass myself, that I’ll do something wrong and make things worse, that I’ll offend someone, or otherwise come up with some excuse to talk my way out of doing something new.
Part of this was an act of self-preservation. Instead of exposing my inadequacies to the world and being found out for being a fraud (or not as capable as I want to appear to be), I would hide and avoid confrontation of the sort by not putting myself in those situations in the first place.
If you can relate to what I just shared at all, I want to give you and myself some important permission today. It is okay not to know. It’s okay to need things explained to you again. It’s okay to seek guidance to make sure you really get it.
That’s what learning is, isn’t it? The act of gathering knowledge that can better inform your decisions and behavior. For some reason, we think it’s a weakness to not have all the answers. But how are we expected to know things without learning it? If anything it’s the sharing of knowledge that makes the world go around.
Now applying this to your life, you don’t need to know to get started with something. You can start a new hobby, be a beginner and make mistakes. You can go for it at a level that’s beyond your current abilities just to see how you do. People aren’t as judgmental or critical of you as you think they are, that’s just your own insecurities projected onto other people.
You do not need to wait until you know how to do something to do it. There are people on the way who want to help you and lessons embedded in every instance you fall short. And if you put yourself in the worst case scenario where you do embarrass yourself or you do something wrong, you realize how quickly things pass. Life goes on, and now you’re carrying with you a little more knowledge and understanding of how to be better in the future.
Not knowing is not a good enough excuse to not try. It’s okay not to know.
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