Permission to Be Awful at Things First

Because even Picasso made things he’s embarrassed of.

I suck at painting. Always have.

But I’m an artist in many forms — acting, singing, dancing and (what I’m most known for) graphic design, web design and branding. And at one point, I sucked at all o fthose too.

In order to get to where I am, I had to put in the time to get better.

If you don’t start, you never get better. If you quit too early, you never advance.

You see, you may not think you’re creative. Or you may not think that you’re very good at the thing that you want to do. But the only reason for that is because you haven’t put in the time yet.

Every creative individual who is growing in their skills has to go through a period of time where they just plain suck. And they know it. It’s because their vision is there, but their skill has not caught up to it.

[There is an article I read once that talks about this specifically, and for the life of me, I can’t remember where I saw it. If I do, I’ll update this post with a link to it.]

Whether you’re interested in becoming a rock star blogger or just beginning to venture into the world of visual content, understand that you’re going to suck at it. And be okay with that. Because that means you have the capacity to grow.

And even when you may think you’ve just created your greatest work of art, you’ll eventually look back 5 years from then and cringe. Greg Ciotti calls this the Creative Cringe.

This is another problem I have with the trend of disposable content. Although I do see the power in platforms like Snapchat or Meerkat, I also realize that this disposable content doesn’t allow for us to look back and cringe. And by cringing, see how much we’ve grown.

And I just ran across a blog post by CoSchedule today talking about how to reclaim breakthrough content ideas from old posts. Problem is, if all your content is disposable, and disappears after 10 seconds, you can never go back and improve and make it better.

I digress.

The point is, give yourself permission to be awful. If you don’t explore and have the guts to create things that are awful, you’ll never grow. And that is the scariest thing of all.