Being a Beginner
Ways to make an otherwise difficult phase pleasant
Maybe you just started a yoga practice, and found yourself to be too inflexible, or you started learning to dance and found yourself being too clumsy, or you began strength training and realised how weak you are.
Or you started learning a new subject, and realised how difficult some concepts are to grasp, or you took a break from say your regular physical training and getting back to it made you realize how much endurance you had lost.
Well, let's just face it. Being a beginner is not always a very pleasant experience.
But we can go through this phase smoothly if we change our perspective, and look at our experience, in a whole new way.
In this post, I will discuss with you how you can give yourself some grace, and make this phase to progress, not only comfortable but also pleasant.
Now these are pointers that I am using myself, in my journey as a beginner student of strength training with kettlebells & a beginner student of playing the keyboard. And it seems to be working for me and I am sharing these with you with the hope that it helps you too.
1. Honour your journey :
Honour the unique circumstances of your life. The fact that you have taken this move to learn something new or start over what you discontinued ( for whatever reasons ) and grow is worth acknowledging and appreciating. Every little step you take towards creating a positive change for yourself is applause worthy.
2. Shift your perspective from "compare & compete" to just being "present & progress":
Resist the urge to unfairly compare your journey with someone else who may be ahead of you in the same pursuit.
The more you come with the attitude of competing (against others or even your own self), the more you suffer.
Instead, meet yourself where you are and commit to doing the best you possibly can.
3. Celebrate small wins :
Be ready to do a lot of positive self talk. This is especially important in the beginner stages when the mind frequently goes, "Is this all you can do?", or "when are you going to progress", or "are you ever going to progress" etc . Interrupt this kind of futile self talk with acknowledging and celebrating daily wins. These could be as simple as :
- Showing up for your days practice
- Being mindful and present
- Miniscule progress of any kind
This way you will develop the attitude to look forward to each day's progress, that is totally unique to you. And not dependant on some universal standards of when you should be able to do something or how much.
4. Be consistent:
Every person starts out as a beginner. Consistent effort is what helps them progress. I will share a real account of my daughter's journey with art.
Keya, started going for drawing classes from the time she was 3.5 years old. When most parents I know, pulled their kids out of class when the journey got tough, I stuck to my guns about not pulling her out. I remember the many years of her struggle and my own struggle with her as she would come to me for help in almost every drawing assignment. After years of this going on, one fine day, she just took off. I remember the day of her class, when she didn't come to me for any help. I was amazed. I couldn't help wonder how this had happened overnight. Except that it had NOT happened overnight. It had happened over the course of 3-4 years.
The same thing applies to us adults, in the pursuit of just about anything. It's all about trusting the process and putting consistent effort. And just sticking with it for a long time. Progress is then inevitable.
5. Stay inspired :
Read & follow the journey of people on similar path as you. This will help you stay motivated and committed when you feel like giving up.
6. Enjoy every step of the journey while embracing uncertainty :
Uncertainty is the nature of life. Learn to embrace it.
I always thank God and am grateful to the universe for creating conditions for me that are congenial for growth and progress on my chosen path. But I am also cognizant of the fact that this may not always be the case. Life happens to most of us. Our priorities might shift depending on circumstances and that can impede our progress towards our desired pursuits. And that's ok. Believe that if it's your heart's desire, then you will always find a way to get back and move forward from where you left.
Nobody knows what tomorrow entails. So just be grateful for today, stay humble and do your best. Whatever that best is for you on any given day.
I hope this post inspires you to look at your journey as a beginner a little differently and motivates you to stick to your path🙂 Leave a comment or drop me a mail if it did. I would love to hear about your journey 💕