Wearing The White Belt Again
To “wear the white belt again” or “put the white belt back on” is a quote I’ve been using the last couple years to describe starting something new.
Mentally, new skill acquisition usually goes in this order;
- This is new and exciting
- I suck at this
- I feel like an idiot
- I’m never going to get this
- If I push through, I’ll get this and feel more confident about it
- *More hard work and months later* I think I got this or starting to get this
- Rinse and repeat
Most people don’t get past step 4 and give up. I’ve always wondered why. It wasn’t until one of my discussions with my father that I realized the simple answer, people hate sucking at something.
I believe this is more true for adults than kids. As adults, we have become proficient or masters at something in our own respect. This makes it harder to break down our current ego to let go and feel dumb at doing something again. We also tend to forget the amount of work that we put in to get good at whatever we are successful in now.
As a kid, you have none of these barriers. No real ego developed, no assumptions about anything, and no real concept of time. You are more or less a sponge that can focus on something almost religiously without the daily stresses that come with adulting. It almost makes me envious of those times again, but I digress.
The white belt conundrum isn’t something we should fear, it is something we should embrace. This not only helps us grow as a person but also to not fall into the rut of complacency and monotony that life can become. I encourage you, to slap that white belt back on, learn something new that you suck at it, and bring some new passion into your life. Remember, sucking at something means you can only improve from there.