“I love to do X, but I’m not good at it” or “I think I’d love X, but I can’t do it.”
Such common excuses not to do something. People just stop thinking or motivating themselves after saying that.
Result? Even as they watch others have the times of their lives, they don’t sing, they don’t go to the gym, they don’t dance, they don’t get on stage, they don’t ask for the promotion, they don’t ask out the girl or the guy, they don’t rock climb, …
They deprive themselves of things they would love. I can’t think of anything you’d want to do less than avoid something you love. If you have a reason that makes sense — like you’re allergic to some food you love or you’re too busy doing something you love even more — fine. But if you don’t have a reason that makes sense, getting past counterproductive reasons will bring more love and things you love into your life.
Not being good at something is a reason to do something you love or think you would. That’s how to bring that thing into your life.
It’s obvious when you think about it — at least rationally. People feel fear, anxiety, trepidation, … some emotion like that, from the possibility or expectation of some undesired outcome — embarrassing themselves in front of a group, injuring themselves, etc. The emotion motivates them (that’s what emotions do). They follow that motivation and subconsciously rationalize their motivation after the fact.
Acting on emotions without thinking about them is the definition of being reactive. If they were more aware of their emotions, they’d realize their rationalization was counterproductive — that is, it was making their life worse — enabling them to examine their motivations, not merely acting on them.
Recognizing motivations were the issue, they could find other motivations, or the beliefs motivating them, working in their favor. For example, they could realize most people who got good at something started off like them, that developing skills could be rewarding itself, that the sooner they started the better, or any number of alternatives motivating them toward the things they loved.
Looking back at my life, most of the most rewarding things in it involved motivating myself past anxieties. Had I started those things earlier, my life would have had more singing, dancing, sports, going to the gym, asking girls out, … things like that. In fact, one of the most significant milestones in raising my emotional awareness (to the extent I have any) was recognizing that the greatest joys in my life, when they first entered my life, were the greatest sources of anxiety. That realization will have to be the subject of a later post.
A better title for this post might have been “if you love it, do it especially if you aren’t good at it.”
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