Learning new stuff can suck.
Two years ago (thank heavens) I stumbled across Brene Brown. She’s a shame and vulnerability researcher. Her work led her to the concept of whole-hearted living. Not perfect, winning, good-looking living. Whole-hearted living.
If you haven’t discovered her already, a great place to start is her first TED talk. It shows you much better than I can.
I did her e-course called The Gifts of Imperfection, based on her book. The experience was a real shift for me. I learned that “unexpressed creativity is not benign”. It festers. It bubbles. I realised it makes me bark at my children, and behave like a martyr.
So, anyway, I love to sing. People often comment with delight (because fortunately it sounds nice) about how much I sing if they’ve been around me for a time in day-to-day life when I’m relaxed.
Utilising my Brene boost, I figured I could express this creativity more fully if I could strum along to songs on a guitar.
In a burst of synchronicity a friend said it would be fun to play songs together and did I want her to teach me? (Are these really coincidences or are they the universe meeting us halfway on the right track?)
Since then I’ve played for about 10 minutes, 6 nights out of 7, when the kids have their shower and get into their pajamas.
At first I was rubbish. I sang painfully slow songs.
It felt like I was never, ever going to be able to change chords without a 30 second pause to rearrange my fingers.
And my fingers really did almost bleed. The tips would burn for hours.
But I’d chosen my audience well. The kids yodeled along happily. They were 4 and 6 and didn’t have a judgmental bone in their bodies.
Today I sing in a band that does paid performances.
And my creativity isn’t festering anymore. It’s become a spiritual thing.
Then 6 weeks ago I went for 3 lessons with a really experienced teacher. It was transformative!
Last night at shower time I played a tricky, picking song that really sounded beautiful in the bathroom’s acoustics. The kids did dance routines to it.
It got me thinking.
If I’d bought the guitar and left it in the corner, only picking it up once a month, I would have got so discouraged I would have quit. My skills would have remained crumby, and so every time I picked it up it would have been a miserable, embarrassing experience.
Because being bad at something can really suck.
But getting better at something really rocks: it’s exhilarating. It’s rewarding. It builds self esteem.
Just 10 minutes a day.
But for 2 long years.
There were wins and joy along the way that countered the suffering and pain. Like slogging away at a song, being terrible at it, night after night. And then *suddenly* breaking through one night and being able to sing it right through without any jarring pauses.
The idea I could have left my guitar in the corner made me see the parallels with a network marketing business:
- Have a strong, personal reason for wanting to be able to do it well.
- Do a little every day, even when you suck and it’s painful.
- Choose your audience wisely – get a cheering squad that can appreciate your efforts, even if it only has two people in it.
- And get a teacher to help you shape all that practice, activity and effort.
Putting all that together over time produces incredible results.
Write up those four points and put them on your dream board or bathroom mirror. It could stand you in good stead.
Give yourself a break.
Buckle up and commit to 12 months of daily, productive effort. Be teachable. Plug in to your team – find people you like and cheer each other on.
You really can change your life with simple steps like these. Yes it’s simple – but it’s not easy. Yes it is tough at times – but it’s far from impossible. The next 12 months are going to pass anyway. How different will life look this time next year if you put in that effort?
Share your thoughts in the comments below – have you got results you can share from being consistent in your business? Did it all come together right out of the gate…or did it take a while?
See you on the road,