I hate sucking at things
Let me explain:
When I was in college, I was obsessed with my creative fiction classes.I took it very seriously and while I ignored most of my other college assignments, I slaved over every story I wrote.
Now, 3 or 4 years later, I find it difficult to finish anything.
Because I don’t want to suck.
A little under a year ago, I started taking improv classes. I took 2 of them, back-to-back and then had to leave on vacation and couldn’t take it again.
I’ve been having mini panics over taking the class again (and especially about which class to take) all freakin’ week.
Why? Because I don’t want to suck.
I HATE not being good at things.
There is this talk by Ira Glass in which he talks about the burden of being a creator when you have good taste. You KNOW what is good and what is bad and you can tell that the stuff you are creating? It’s not that good, yo.
I hate that.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my business students and how they struggle with the same things I am struggling with in my non-business life and tried to think of some of the advice I’d give them.
In business, there is only one thing you can do to get over those feelings of suck.
Just show up.
Do what you gotta do. Meditate. Pray. Have sex. Eat a cookie. Do all of that at once which I bet is something Brad and Angelina do all the time.
Do whatever you need to do to just SHOW UP. Because that is the hardest part. Once you show up enough, it stops being so crazy.
It reminds me of how I used to feel about getting my eyebrows waxed. I always put it off and I always dread it.
It’s gonna be SO painful. My face is gonna burn. I AM GONNA GET A WEIRD EYEBROW INFECTION.
I drag my feet getting in the car. I drag my feet traveling up the street to the nail salon. I overdose on mints that are most likely expired while I wait. With deep breath and a mouth full of spearmint I say “ok” when it comes time for her to take me to the mysterious back room.
And once it happens, it happens. Wax happens. There is actually something amazing about it.
Afterwards, I am always OK. I feel lighter (my eyebrows can get pretty redic) and my face looks great, yo.
I still dreaded it the next few times but then eventually, something miraculous happened.
I just went.
I danced to the music on the way there. I sat and read magazines while I waited.
When she called my name, I went back and just let it happen.
I think this is what will eventually happen with improv and writing.
If I just show up every morning to write SOMETHING, I’ll stop thinking about the pain I could possibly feel.
If I just go to the improv class, I’ll stop thinking about how much I suck at it.
In the meantime, I am going to do whatever I can to support myself in the SHOWING UP part because that is the most important.
The rest will take care of itself.