Have you ever watched a baby learning to walk? They are ridiculous. A baby will spend months just working on crawling. I mean, how pathetic could you get? Right?
Of course, you don’t think that. Walking is a skill that takes time to learn. We all know this, and we all have compassion and empathy for the baby struggling to propel themselves forward.
You would never expect that an infant to sprint.
So why would you give up running after three tries because you get winded after a mile?
And why would you stop playing the cello after a week because it sounds more like a dying chicken than Yo-Yo Ma?
Why do you expect immediate expertise from yourself when learning a new skill?
Learning and growing your skills is an essential part of being in the modern workforce. You cannot depend on your current skill set to remain relevant. You need to be continually growing; otherwise, you will quickly fall behind in today’s economy.
As you upskill, however, be kind to yourself.
Without self-compassion, appropriate expectations, and a good sense of humor, you’ll quickly burn out. You will decide that it’s easier (for your ego) to assume that you could be a star if you just tried. It’s easier but cowardly to give up.
When you want to give up, though, just think about that baby. Think about how long it takes that baby to walk. But they’ll get there sooner or later. Because they will try. They will fall a hundred times and get up a hundred and one times.
That is how you become competent. It’s the only way to become competent.
If that dumb baby can do it, you can. But only if you try.