It's OK to suck when you try something new... it's how you learn!
Like many people, I'm often intimidated when trying something new, something I haven't done before. Sometimes that intimidation is so large that I don't even bother to try it, as I know I'll look stupid or suck at it. But then again, you have to start somewhere, and you can't be good at everything right out of the starting blocks.
My wife "suggested" recently that we take dancing lessons. If you've ever met me before, this idea should either amuse you or cause you to ask for eye bleach. Imagine one of the ewoks from Star Wars (preferably one that is overweight) out on the dance floor, and you start to get the image. It's not pretty...
Our first lesson was a group lesson where we tried to learn to cha cha... operative word being "tried". What looks simple in a video, isn't. You're trying to remember what step comes next, how to hold your body, how to position your weight, how your hips should be moving (mine do NOT move like that!), etc. Oh, and you get to do all this while someone is holding your hands in front of you. And then horror of horrors, they have everyone shift one person over... Now you get to injure ANOTHER person in the class!
After the hour lesson, we decided that perhaps cha cha and/or group lessons weren't quite our cup of tea. After my wife talked with the instructor afterwards, we found out a few things... such as cha cha is NOT a beginner's dance, and the group lessons are often populated by people who have already taken private lessons and are supplementing their practice time. So the fact that I could even keep up might have been a minor miracle.
So this week we went back and tried again, only this time with private lessons and a different dance... the rumba. That's a four-step box movement, it can be done to quite a few songs (anything in 4/4 time), and it's a common dance step that you might actually *do* when at a wedding or out for an evening. You can still imagine the ewok on the dance floor, but this time I actually started to "get it." My drumming background had me comfortable with the beat, and I could actually start to let some of the movement flow instead of having to concentrate on every little step. No, I'm not an expert, but I didn't feel completely out of place, either.
So now taking this off the dance floor (you're welcome) and into life in general...
How often do you avoid trying something new because you know you'll look stupid or fail? Do you avoid learning a new technology because you won't know it as well as the one you currently use in your job? Do you avoid trying new activities because you don't want to be laughed at? Do you not even *try* something (like writing a book!) because you know you "can't" do it?
It's OK to suck when you start something new. It's OK to fail. It's how you learn. Bestselling authors get dozens of rejection letters before they're "discovered." Top musicians had to learn basic scales and chords before they became what you hear today. Speakers had to talk in front of small groups (and likely bomb) before they could captivate a roomful of listeners. The important thing is they tried, they practiced, and they didn't let failure or fear cause them to quit.
Step out and try something new. Embrace the awkwardness, the flub-ups, the mistakes. Know they'll happen, learn from each one, and keep moving on. Then you'll have that moment in time where you suddenly realize that you're no longer trying... you're doing.
And you'll be that much richer for having taken that first step.