Justin and I had a conversation yesterday about his applying to different chiropractic offices and maybe one day starting his own practice. He reminded me that really almost every job (except maybe accounting) should be called a practice.
It’s not as if you get hired and start doing the work perfectly, methodically and nothing ever changes. You have to constantly be learning and then putting what you learn into practice. And it’s exactly this practice that makes you good at what you do. The more you practice the more experience you gain and the more your skills improve. The more you practice the more you progress.
Have you ever found yourself resisting doing what you know needs to get done because you’re afraid people will judge the result? Yeah, me too. As I said in my last post, I have all of this energy and drive and passion right now, but I’m not really sure what it’s for.
I’m having so much fun learning and absorbing as much information as I can–but a few times in the past week or two I’ve found myself using learning and acquiring knowledge as an excuse for not doing the actual work that’s required of me.
After some reflection I’ve found this resistance to diving into the work is rooted in fear (shocker) because the work I do is the ultimate test. It will be when people can honestly look at me and say, “yeah… she doesn’t actually know what she’s doing.”
I fear that statement. I want people to look at my work and say, “wow she is really good at what she does.” But how can I get good at what I do if I’m not actually doing it?
It’s All Right in Front of You
The most incredible opportunities are right in front of me-I couldn’t ask for a better job, my freelance gig is truly a gift straight from the hands of God, and yet, I still hesitate. I find myself going back to another podcast, another book, reading one more article instead of just putting my head down and starting the work.
Chances are, you have every opportunity in front of you too, you just need to recognize them as opportunities to practice your skills. It’s all about improving your skills not proving yourself. And in order to improve– you have to start.
Practice Becomes Confidence
I’ve received quite a few compliments lately from talented people who recognize my potential and have seen my good work. But, I know deep down, I don’t have the skills required to do the kind of work I aspire to do…yet. I know this because all I’ve done so far is learn a lot in theory. I haven’t actually put much into practice. It’s easy to be good at something when you haven’t actually done it yet.
I’m so concerned about proving myself, I’m failing to focus on actually getting better. What’s more important? One more person affirming my gifts, or me actually growing confident in them. The more I practice the more confident I will become.
Confidence is never something I’ve struggled with. It’s always come pretty naturally to me. It’s something I haven’t spent too much time thinking about. The problem right now it my confidence is rather puffed up because I know it’s not backed in experience. I can continue adding more knowledge into my head by reading, podcasting, and learning, but I’m not actually gaining the most important thing which is experience.
Knowledge is important, and there is definitely merit in not starting something until you’re prepared to do it well. So don’t get me wrong, it’s not as though I’m wasting my time. I just have seen myself use knowledge as an excuse recently.
I definitely have enough knowledge to at least get started, and instead I’ve found myself stubbornly resisting making that first Facebook ad and running with it. Instead I’ll convince myself my time is better spent watching one more Youtube video, reading one more book, learning one more thing.
Luckily, a few external factors have given me a little bit of extra time. The website for my freelancing job recently crashed which means we’re not focusing on driving a lot of traffic to our website right now. This is the perfect blessing in disguise because now I can make sure my skills are sharp and ready to go once we are up and running again. And when that time comes, there are no excuses–it’s time.
Once the website has relaunched, I will create our first Facebook advertising campaign within two weeks. I will hit Pinterest hard and make it part of my daily routine, I will learn more about WordPress and do some copywriting to make our site the best it can be. There is so much potential for what can actually be DONE instead of just what can be LEARNED.
This is where is begins. I thought it began when I was fired up about learning everything, but now I know I’ll never be successful, I’ll never be a true Facebook advertising expert, I’ll never have confidence in my ability to go freelance unless I actually start doing the work.
Even just writing out these thoughts gives me motivation to start practicing. What do I have to lose? It seems silly I’ve been struggling to get started, because this was the point of learning everything I’ve been learning the last few months.
Not so I could keep it bottled in my head and talk knowledgeably when someone asked a question–NO! It was so I could actually put that knowledge into practice and see results.
So, forward I will go. Not just in knowledge, but in practice. And I challenge you if you’re like me and find excuses to delay the work to delay no more.
Because, “who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Ester 4:14) The time is now.
There’s life to be lived.