Be a Beginner

I have been a beginner at many things.
For one, I am just beginning to blog. And in the past I have been a beginner at ballet, tango, yoga, weightlifting, pilates, etc. I know how terrifying it is to be the only person that sucks in the room. Yes, that feeling when the teacher says pirouette, fondu, releve, and you say “wut?” And you peek over your shoulder to discover that everyone else is doing something you are NOT doing. I went to a “beginner” class but I felt like the only true beginner there and everyone else had been dancing ballet since there were 5. Luckily, after a few classes I was improving. And I started to notice that there were other people learning a new hobby just like I was.

I remember at some of the yoga classes I went to, occasionally there would be some people really struggling. I wonder how they felt: did they feel bad about themselves? Or did they enjoy learning new things? I never once thought “these people really should not be in this class”. Instead, I’ve always had a lot of respect for those who try and fail, and try again, especially in public. I find them awe-inspiring. We all value expertise and that makes it hard to start something new because we feel embarrassed/discouraged to be a beginner. But if you limit yourself to what you are good at, then you live a confined life. And I think life should be larger than that.

The truth is, we don’t pay that much attention to the beginners. Usually, our eyes are fixated on those that are doing well. So next time you tell yourself that you suck at ________ and everyone is laughing at you, think again. Because people are only looking at the stars. It means that you are not being judged as much as you think you are, and you should keep trying and don’t give up.

Thanks to the (small) number of people who are not afraid to be beginners in front of me, I am encouraged to try more things. They remind me that I am not the only beginner in the room (or in life). And I hope by being a beginner myself, more people can be inspired to step out of their comfort zone.

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