Starting something new is intimidating. Indeed, we find ourselves being beginners amongst advanced and experts. And we are scared to fail at it. Is it really what bothers us though? Or are we scared that other people will know we failed?
All experts were students once
“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” – Stephen McCranie
Maybe some people are more at ease with some activities, but no one is born with a special skill or talent. Everyone works at it regardless. Of all people, experts in anything know what it takes to start and to become the best. More to the point, they know what it takes to persevere, to keep going when they fail in order to become better at it. They have been there.
Resist the social pressure
“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” – Marcus Aurelius
We are not in control of other people’s opinion and yet here we are, overthinking about what they think. In truth, we only know what we think they think. Tell yourself they think you are great and they will think it, at least for all you know. Do not let your perception of other people’s opinion stop you.
Use people’s judgement to feel stronger about yourself. They are not strong enough to start something new and brush past what other people think of them, but you are. Now they laugh, in a few years’ time when you will be enjoying yourself and being good at it, they will admire you. Their opinion of you now will not matter then. Their opinion does not matter.
“If you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
Failing is not an end, it is a new start. Everybody fails, that is how we reach a point where we never fail. We need to have failed in every possible way before not failing ever again. And even then, it will happen. What is important is that you always fail better. Fail once, learn why then start again, fail again and learn why etc. Without failure, there is no improvement. Start, fail and start again.
Open your mind
“Only the educated are free.” – Epictetus
Learning new things makes you a student. It opens your mind to novelty in different shapes and forms. It helps you admit that you can be wrong and that you do not know everything. It teaches you perseverance and discipline. It tells you to brush past other people’s opinion. The first time you start something new, it is going to be challenging. When you will start something new the second time you will not even hesitate about it, because you know what matters. You matter, you are great and discovering new things is exciting. Only you can decide whether to learn or not.
“While we are postponing, life speeds by.” – Seneca
Are you postponing starting something new? Do not wait, start now. Your future self will not be happy with your present self if you do not go out there and do it. Read this article about how to stop procrastinating. Do not regret it in a year’s time instead.
No need for praise
“The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.” – Dale Carnegie
Not everybody will be supportive. What did you want and expect? You have to start something for yourself, first. Be quiet about it. Do not go out and seek praise for it does not depend on you and it is not up to you. Seek your own improvement and greatness and manage your expectations of other people. You are not in control of what they say, you can doubt what they think, but you are certain of what you want to do.
Remember, you obtain status from others. Fortunately, status is nothing. It takes a few good shots and a good Facebook post to be someone you are not. On the other side, it takes work to really become that person. Fake it till you make it, or make it so you don’t have to fake it, the choice is yours.
What do you want to start?
If you want more insights on why you should not care much what other people think and how to do it, try reading these self-development books.