Fear is only a limiting belief. When was the last time you did something for the first time? When was the last time you did something that scared you?
When I was on stage to play a musical instrument for the first time, it felt exciting but I was afraid. At that time I was about 12 or 13 years old and I was scared, not because I didn’t know how to play, but I was scared of making a mistake. The fear was the fear of failing.
Do you know how it felt like that first time? My legs were shaking. I don’t know if anybody noticed, but all I know was that I couldn’t wait to get down the stage.
Back in 2016, as a young lawyer, the first time I was in court alone I was scared. It was a few months after I left law school and I was still under pupilage in a law office during my mandatory National Youth Service Corps.
My boss was out of town. A senior lawyer in chambers had a matter in another court and he had to be there and I was mandated to go to court on his behalf. What made matters worse was that he only told me that morning.
At a moment, I was excited, but excitement turned into anxiety later when I got into the courtroom. I took my time to relax before the case was called, but I got scared.
With a sense of being alone, looked around the courtroom once in a while to find a friendly face to get assurance, but what I saw was the courtroom full with litigants and to make matters worst, the judge was not looking friendly at all. Fastforward to the end, my case was called up and I did well.
We all have our tales of when we did something for the first time. When we didn’t know what the outcome will be like. Ordinarily, our reaction is to be scared or nervous about what the outcome will be.
Well, it’s completely normal to feel that awkward feeling at first. Whether it’s driving a car for the first time, going on a first date, going for that interview, making that public speech, etc, the first time is always not so smooth.
One thing I know for sure is that no one is perfect at first. No one is born perfect.
First, you learn to crawl before you learn to walk. When you learn to walk, you then learn to run. After you can run then you’ll start thinking of flying. It is all a growth process.
Your journey to perfection doesn’t end on your first try. That is why you need to practice. It means you have to do it over and over before it becomes second nature.
Today I go up on stage to play the piano without having any jitters. In fact, I’m on stage having fun and I don’t want the session to end.
The last time I was speaking in public, it felt so easy; I didn’t know my time was up because I was having so much fun talking. It wasn’t like that a couple of years ago.
The important thing to note is that you must not fail to try when you have the opportunity.
If you try and fail, it is better than not trying at all. At least when you try and you failed, you learnt something. You must learn something new each time.
Failure is only an event and not your life.
Being a professional is all about doing and getting better at what you do.
Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, etc are big companies today, but they did not achieve overnight success. They started somewhere and they grew to where they are today. In fact, if you ask them, they will tell you they are still growing. They are still trying new things and taking risks.
Nothing is ever perfect at first. If you are waiting for things to be perfect before you make a move on your dreams, you will wait for a long time.
Start where you are with what you have and what you know.
Know what you want to achieve but start by taking small steps on your journey to perfection.
Remember, keep your eyes on the goal and don’t stop working on your vision.