I subscribe to the Havard Business Review (HBR) Management Tip Of The Day. About half the time, it is something that is applicable to my situation. This particular one hits both my work and my writing. The underlining below is mine.
HBR Management Tip Of The Day When You’re Learning, You Should Feel Uncomfortable
Being a beginner at something can feel awkward and embarrassing, especially if you’re used to being an expert. But those feelings are the inescapable growth pains that come from developing and improving. To get used to the discomfort, know that it’s brave to be a beginner. Exposing your weaknesses and trying new things takes courage. You can make the challenge a bit easier by looking for learning situations where the stakes are low — maybe a class where you’re not expected to be an expert or you don’t know anyone else. If it helps, tell fellow participants that you may mess up whatever you’re about to attempt. Your willingness to take risks may inspire others to do the same. And whatever you do, don’t stop learning. Keep pushing yourself, especially in the areas where you are accomplished, so you can get even better. If you are willing to feel embarrassment and shame, and even to fail, there’s no end to what you can do.
As with many others, a large part of my difficulty with writing is the “I suck” thoughts that keep coming into my head. It is a constant battle to ignore those and just write. However, to some extent, it is true — I do suck. But I need to remember other things that are true.
I suck now when compared to my future writing skills.
The majority of people, when they start something new, suck compared to how good they are after they have been doing it for a while.
Comparing myself to those that have already paid their dues, put in their time, built their skills, it not a smart move. Should a high school gymnast compare themselves to Simone Biles? Should a new writer compare themselves to Maya Angelou? Of course not, they should compare themselves to how good they were last month and the month before. Learning from others is very good — comparing yourself to others is self-defeating.
Put in the time to learn a new skill, be patient with yourself, and, as the above tip says, don’t stop learning.
Hard to start writing You’re your own worst enemy Be patient and try
This article was published back in the June 2005 edition of Medical Product Outsourcing magazine. As the article title says, it covers how a company’s IT infrastructure can help with its medical device design process.