“Be sure to make mistakes; make a lot of them because there’s no better way to learn and to grow.” -Dawson’s Creek
Most of my friends and family know that while living in Connecticut and working for ESPN, I was passionate about two things: my church and ballroom dancing. If I could, I would go to dance class everyday. So, it’s no surprise that when I visited friends in Connecticut about a month ago, I also stopped by my old studio to take a few classes with my sister.
During the salsa rueda class, Boris Medved, my former instructor at the West Hartford Fred Astaire Dance Studio combined two tough advanced steps to keep us on our toes. One student jokingly complained that you have to break up the tougher steps with at least one basic step to which Boris replied:
“Life is too short to do another basic step!”
Not only is this true in dance (because the advanced steps are more FUN!), but also in life. Too many times, fear can cripple us as we focus too much on failure, not having the right skills, or connections. A basic step may be easy to master, but the joy of gliding gracefully across the dance floor only comes once you move to more advanced steps.
This rings true in my life all the time. Rocket continues to encourage me to push past my comfort zones, even with this blog. I started working on the blog right after we got married last year, however, questions about the url name, my content, and sharing my writing with others kept me on the sidelines for months. Finally, one day advice from Rocket and a push from a friend, Sami, helped me to see that my concerns didn’t matter as much as producing a product and improving it as I continue. Now, I’m learning as I go! It didn’t matter that I didn’t know the ins and outs of blogging. Within weeks of starting the blog, I received 4 paid writing opportunities. I had moved past the basics!
Somehow, in the past, I had convinced myself that avoiding mistakes, continuing preparation and not taking the “advanced step” was the best way to my end goal. How did I get over get over the fear and concerns about blogging? Here are some tools that I used to get over the hump.
- Writing down specific dreams and goals no matter how big.
- Use a planner to track your progress. Rocket and I have been using this One Year Planner to organize our goals and check on our progress.
- Have an accountability partner. Tell them what you plan on accomplishing each week to help you stay on task.
- Talk to a Career Coach – Sometimes it’s nice to get professional tools to help you move past the hurdles in front of you. I have attended a few career seminars from Sami Toussi, my friend who is also a career coach, and it has helped to jumpstart my personal projects!
So what mistakes are you afraid of making? Are you apprehensive speaking a new language because of how you sound (something I’m still working on)? What are the things in your life that you need to move past the basic step?