Are you brave enough to make a fool out of yourself…and become a master?

“The time came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Anais Nin

I think it’s fair to say that most people who want to achieve a goal understand that it takes hard work and effort, but in order to break free from the mold and achieve mastery level it takes something more. The question is – are you willing to pay the price it takes to achieve such greatness?

  1. HONESTY – are you willing to be honest with yourself, even when it hurts? It’s easy to be aware of your strengths and work to build them further, but it takes courage to acknowledge your weaknesses – especially when they are painful — but unless you are willing to view yourself from all angles, you’ll be trapped by an illusion that limits your growth.
  2. EMBARRASSMENT – Nobel prize winner George Bernard Shaw once said, “I learned to speak as I learned to skate or cycle: by doggedly asking a fool of myself until I got used to it.” If you want to achieve greatness, you  have to be willing to suffer through some awkward moments in front of other people. Do you have the courage to face such public embarrassment while you continue to practice, make mistakes, and keep trying? Most people like the security of sitting on the sidelines and laughing at other’s mistakes – that’s why most people don’t achieve greatness.
  3. CHILDLIKE – a babies make mistakes like they are going out of style, yet they learn and keep trying because that’s all they know how to do. Even Jesus reminded his disciples of the importance of humbling themselves and ‘becoming like little children’ so accept the fact that you still have more to learn and see the world with the open mind of a child.
  4. FRUSTRATION – when you first start learning a new skill, you might enjoy some early successes that will inspire you to keep going, but eventually you’ll hit a wall and feel like you’re going backwards. This is because the more you learn about your skill, the higher you begin to raise your standards (so what was good in the beginning is no longer good enough now) AND the more you become aware of your errors (which you often overlooked in the beginning because you didn’t know any better). You’ll feel frustration, anger, and even a loss of self-esteem. You may even feel like quitting. But don’t give in to this temptation! Instead understand that these ups and downs are all part of the growth process. No mountain climb is just a straight line directly up the path – there are always some peaks and valleys on the path to greatness.

“Awareness is like sunlight over a dark well”
Dan Millman

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