Permission to suck

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One of the great parts of traveling is meeting people who end up, consciously or unconcisouly, sharing a piece of wisdom with me that ends up altering my life.   

Sunday night, I had just met my new friends Toni, Phillip and Rossy. Toni and Phillip are a couple from Germany. They are on holiday, traveling Vietnam and Bali before embarking on a career teaching kids with disabilities. Rossy is a Scottish man, who had spent the last three months working at an NGO in Siem Reap and made a quick stop in Vietnam before heading back to Switzerland for the winter. The four of us headed out Sunday night and ended up playing pool at a local bar. I am not very good at pool. Rossy is and I asked if he could impart some his wisdom to me. He gave me a few good pointers and I went into my next shot ready to sink the ball in the pocket. And I totally missed the ball. I walked backed over to him lamenting about messing up the shot. He then said to me, “Don’t worry. You have to suck at something first before you can be good at it.” The simple statement stopped me in my tracks and I realized I had spent the majority of my life avoiding sucking at things and then putting myself down for not being good at those same things. I had inadvertinely tried to skip the important beginning stage of sucking at something, growing and eventually getting good! 

I shared on my IG last week more about the why but, I’ll recap here. Basically, my Dad was very mean to me whenever I tried something new and struggled with it or got freaked out. He would yell and yell at me, put me down and generally cause a scene. His anger taught my younger self that I was being rejected for not being instantly good at things. I began unconsciously equating his anger with my Dad taking his love away and feeling not good enough. As I grew up, I held this unconscious belief and would not let myself really try at new things because I feared the similar rejection/lack of love/being found out for not being good enough. When I discovered this limiting belief last week, I went through the reprogramming technique my Coach, Lacy, taught me so, I could release it. I felt huge relief from the repgramming and opening myself up in this way is what, I think, allowed my friends simple advice to give me deeper perspective on this aspect of myself. 

I have to allow myself to suck at things! And, with new programming I realized I won’t be rejected for sucking at something new. Yesterday, I was journaling about this very topic and realized I needed to take a moment to heal my inner child. I pushed my journal aside, put my hands over my heart, closed my eyes and spoke to my inner child. I told her that she is safe with me. I am here and no longer abandoning her. I let her know she is allowed to try new things, anything she wants!, and she is more than allowed to not be good at those things right away. I let her know “sucking” at a thing will never result in loss of my love or rejection. I told her she doesn’t even have to ever get good at something for me to love her. My love is undontional, given freely, fiercely and is exapansive as the Universe. When I opened my eyes, I was crying. My inner child had been waiting for me all this time. 

As I wiped my tears, I picked up pen and got my journal back open. I wrote a vow/challenge to myself that for the next year, I am going to make up for lost time, and try as many new things as I want. I also gave my self full permission to suck at all of these new things for as long as I need to. This challenge won’t be about the end result or perfecting anything, it will be about letting my inner child delight in her curiosities and enjoy the process of whatever it is ticking her fancy. For example, I love to write. I want to be a writer. I haven’t really tried because I’ve been scared to suck. My grammar isn’t the best and I thought if I wasn’t perfect out of the gate than it meant I coldn’t be a writer. LIES! Starting now, I give myself full permission to be a writer and suck at writing. I don’t even care if I make a grammar mistake. My love for myself will not hinge on being a good writer, a celebrated writer, a writer with perfect grammar or even a writer whose work is read by anyone reads besides my Mom. My love for myself will soar and expand simply because I am here existing. I no longer have to perform for myself or anyone else to receive love. I get to exist, knowing in my bones I am good enough and suck at as many new things as I want.  

I already have a list of things I want to try. As soon as I gave myself permission to try new things without the pressure of being perfect, I was flooded with a million things I wanted to try. My try new thing list is: learn to play the guitar and violin, learn French, learn acroyoga, practice my handstands, learn jujitsu, run my first marathon, write as much as I possibly can, paint and draw to my hearts content and work for myself. 

Have you been scared at sucking at things and therefore not trying anything new? Can you take the “suck” challenge and try new things knowing you have to suck first before you get better? Can you allow your inner child the freedom to play, expore and be just as they are? If you need help moving through this, I would love to help you!