The “Oh God, I suck” momentOctober 4, 2010
Everybody’s experienced this. The moment where you say, “oh God, I really suck at this”. Maybe you’ve just screwed up some technique that you’ve done perfectly a thousand times, or some newbie has just kicked your ass in a “light spar”. Maybe you’re working on something new, and you just can’t get your head around it. The thing you have to realize, though, is that more often than not, this moment is a good thing!
OK, yes, sometimes maybe you really do suck at whatever it is. But even assuming that’s true, do you think that you didn’t suck at it yesterday, or last week? Have your skills suddenly taken a severe decline? Probably not. What’s happened is that your standards have gone up. Yesterday, you were just as lousy, but you didn’t know it. You felt good about yourself. Today, you don’t, and that’s what’s going to help you improve. You can’t get better if you can’t tell what you’re doing wrong, and if you think you’re doing well, obviously you can’t see what you’re doing wrong (and trust me, you’re definitely doing something wrong!) As soon as you realize just how bad you truly are, suddenly you have the opportunity to get better.
If you just get discouraged and go work on something else, you’ve thrown away a golden chance. By doing that, you’ve just moved from the thing that you can improve in, to something where you still can’t see where the problems are, which is to say something that isn’t going to get better with work. Seek out those “I suck” moments, and treasure them! They’re the best thing that can happen to you.