There comes a time when you are no longer a beginner, but you aren’t a master, either. I think this time is the hardest part of being a lifelong learner.
When you’re a beginner, you’re expected to ask questions. You’re expected to not know what you are doing. You’re expected to make mistakes. It takes the pressure off.
When you’re a master, mistakes are few and farther between. And if you do make a mistake, you may just uncover a better way to do whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish. And if you do really make a mess of whatever it is you’re trying to do, people around you are more likely to be forgiving. “That’s the Universe just trying to keep you humble.”
In between though, that’s different. Make a big mistake and you look like a bare beginner. Should you re-evaluate and go back to being a beginner? Complete the task roughly and you are obviously not a master. You’re not good enough at what you’re doing to do it well. Will you always be not good enough? How long is it going to take you to become good enough to be considered a master? Will it take you longer than someone else? Probably. Should you care? No. Do you care anyway? Yes.
This is where I am at the moment. This is where I take the training wheels off and try not to fall.
I will fall, though. I will fall repeatedly before I get the hang of things. And I’m sure you’ve heard the old chestnut, “You only fail if you stop trying.” There is a reason that has survived long enough to be an old chestnut: it’s true.
Did you ever notice that when we fail at something, we try to frame it as a success by popping back up and saying, “I meant to do that.” It’s a self defense mechanism. We couldn’t have failed because we did exactly what we were intending to do. Of course, that’s BS. We failed. Miserably. And we need to accept that. We need to own that failure.
Because if you say “I meant to do that,” then you never truly intended to succeed.
If you’re trying to ride a bike and you fall over and then say, “I meant to do that,” you were truly intending to fall over the entire time. You were truly intending to fail.
No one likes to fail, but it’s necessary in order to learn. I need to remember the spark of the Divine within me – “Goddess up” so to speak – and have the courage to accept that failure. Goddess up and have the maturity to understand and accept that I’m going to have to fail for a little while before I can succeed indefinitely.
Yes, I said “Goddess up.” If you can “cowboy up,” or “cowgirl up,” or “man up,” then as far as I’m concerned you can “Goddess up.”
What’s that? You don’t think I can?
Watch me try. Watch me fall. Watch me get up. Watch me try it again.
I will become a master of the task, or to be more precise, a mistress of the task. That’s a word I personally want to reclaim, right there: mistress. A female master of a task.
What about you? Can you accept your failed attempts long enough to succeed?