When was the last time you tried something new? I don’t mean a variation of a Starbucks coffee (though I know for some, that would rock their world). I mean trying something new in your craft. And not something you already think you’re good or bad at, after all, how could you know ahead of time?
It may or may not enhance your craft. You might consult a writing resource to definitively learn what a split infinitive is. Maybe you’ll practice your public speaking or presentation skills. It could be learning how to become more approachable in social situations, or how to shut up and actually listen during meetings.
Nearly 70% of the people you know will think of something they’d like to improve, but then their inner critic will say, “Meh, I’m good.”
Good is…okay…but it’s not great.
I prefer being with people who want to work on something specific that brings them closer to great. That takes effort, discipline, and practice, often prefaced with the phrase, “Fake it till you make it.”
That mantra produces a visceral reaction in some people, which always fascinates me.
Those committed to continual improvement intuitively get it. To them it’s the confidence to say, “I haven’t tried this yet, and it may or may not work. It could make me feel weird or uncomfortable at first, but it’s important to me, so let’s give it a shot.” They’re trying something on to see if it fits, or if they can picture it fitting with something else they already have.
They don’t think of it as lying to themselves or being delusional. To the contrary, they’re admitting they don’t know. That’s bona fide vulnerability.
Interestingly, the people who abhor the phrase consider it a breeding ground for inauthenticity. It’s not. It’s telling your toughest critic, yourself, to cool it for a bit while you experiment. Have you ever given yourself permission to do that? It’s awesome!
I’ve found the loudest opponents of this technique to be among the most unimaginative, holier-than-thou phonies. Ignore them. They won’t ever change, they don’t know how. Besides, they’ll tell you, they’re good.
Go be great.