Allow yourself to be a beginner
“Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.”
As part of my degree requirement I am required to take one language course, and since French is the second dominant language in Canada everyone is expected to take French. So, given the natural inclination toward this language I thought I might as well take the French course as my language requirement. But also, given my previous exposer to French in high school I thought the course would be easy and I won’t be forced to do a lot of work. But few days into the course I came to realize that the course was not going to be as easy as I thought it would be, but also my previous exposer didn’t help me at all. So I decided to drop the course and take an Indigenous language course (Ojibway) instead. At fist I was hesitant at the idea of taking a course that I had no knowledge of. The fear of being a beginner creped in and I found myself questioning whether this was a good idea, and start planning my next step if I didn’t enjoy the course. But, few minutes into the course I found myself enjoying the class and delighted at the idea of learning another language that I was not familiar with or had any previous knowledge of.
This experience got me thinking about the fear that we all encounter whenever we take on something knew; whenever given the option of taking something new that we have no knowledge of we naturally try to avoid it as much as we can because we all strive for perfection and thus we expect our selves to be excellent at whatever we do. This was my situation when I took French instead of another language because I had previous experience with the language, and thus I knew I wouldn’t be a beginner in the course. While this tendency is natural I think its important to recognize that its is restrictive and in the long run prevents it from experience life itself. We live in a society that tells us to strive for perfection, but does not remain us that perfection comes with practice and that practice comes with challenging ourselves to be beginners at something that we aim to strive for. We forget that we all started out as beginners, no knew was born able to walk and speak perfectly, but through crawling and learning the alphabet.
Many times during my practice I try a different pose and find myself disappoint at my failure to master it right away, forgetting that even if you are good at something it doesn’t mean that you will be good at every aspect of the thing you are good at. There will always be certain elements of the practice that I will have to put my beginner shoes on and try, knowing that I will not be excellent at it right away. I think this is what we need to remain ourselves on a daily basis that it is okay to be a beginner and that there is nothing wrong with being a beginner because no one starts out being excellent. So next time you want to try something knew don’t let the beginner symptoms discourage you because this symptoms is temporary, it will go away with practice. So go ahead and try that inversion twist because you will never be excellent at it if you don’t start out as a beginner now.
Lets celebrate the bliss and beauty of being a beginner at something new