When you start doing anything new, there is a moment of awkwardness.
You learned to walk when you were little…you fell down, you got back up again. Can you accept falling down again now that you’re all grown up?
The ability to accept temporary awkwardness is one of the greatest abilities of any creative professional. No matter what you do, you have to be willing to move through the learning of new skills and abilities to reach towards Mastery. If you are willing to push through the stage of awkwardness, then you have the ability to step up to greatness.
I know many very creative people who keep being stuck in their old ways because it feels comfortable. Comfortable is a nice cozy feeling. When it comes to creativity it is a security blanket. But you had better yank that blanket away and burn it. Get yourself uncomfortable, or you’ll end up like these people.
- The musician who stays with the punk rock scene, yet secretly yearns to go to Nashville and record a country album
- The artist who paints portraits but feels revolted by portraits. She wants to sculpt instead
- The mom who wants to go back to work but likes not having to answer to a boss. She secretly likes how being a stay-at-home mom is easy compared to going back to work.
- The graphic designer who is still using outdated Adobe because they’re afraid to learn new software.
Are you comfortable right now? Are you stuck in your ways?
If you become too comfortable, you crumble. You stagnate. Your creativity will decline faster than osteoporosis.
I am totally in a state of complete awkwardness right now. I mentioned on Twitter a few weeks ago that I feel like I am back in high school...I am learning so many new things right now. I just switched over from 10 years in the PC world to Mac. Going from no smartphone to iPhone. New software. It feels like new everything.
I could just give up, and go back to my PC, but that wouldn’t be creatively rewarding. I know that this is the path I must go through right now. It was hard at first, but it feels better after awhile. I know it will feel nice when I feel “comfortable” with everything I am learning right now.
But I know better. Once I feel comfortable I know it is a sign I need to find out where to take my learning next.
I ask you: Are you willing to be awkward in return for learning new skills and becoming great at what you do?
If you’re not willing to be awkward now…you just may end up living in awkward infinity as you loose touch with yourself, society and the rest of the world…just like the cat guy in the photo above. You’ve been warned..
[photo via the web, source unknown]