Life isn’t a steady escalator. Sometimes getting better requires that you first get a lot worse. If you can’t admit to yourself that you suck at something, chances are it will hold you back from future improvements.
Pride, ego, fear of rejection, call it what you will. The result is the same. Part of you likes your temporary holdout in life. It isn’t the work that scares you, or even the unknown. It’s the fact that in order to move forward you have to get your hands dirty.
Examples of “I Suck” Moments Creating Progress
I’d like to argue that “I Suck” moments aren’t the rarity. Letting go of what you already have is a crucial part of many improvements. Here’s just a few examples of how failing to utilize “I Suck” moments could hold you back:
The Dead-End Job
You want to start a business. But you don’t know anything about business. In fact, you’re pretty sure it can’t compete with the salary you are already earning. Your job is comfortable, but it doesn’t make you want to leap out of bed each morning. Your choice is either to face the inevitable “I Suck” moment, ignore your pride and get started with your business. Or go back to working the job that will eventually suffocate you.
The Dull Relationship
You’ve been together for months but the passion isn’t there any more. But you haven’t been dating in awhile and you’re worried you can’t do any better. Your choice is either to stick with someone who isn’t right for you or admit you suck at dating but go through with it anyways.
The Out-of-Shape Body
It’s been years since you’ve hit the gym. Now you want to get back in shape, but it will mean departing from your days of youthful fitness. Your choice is to either admit you suck at exercising and struggle out with the basics of fitness and willpower others have mastered – or continue to live an unhealthy life.
The examples of “I Suck” moments being the deciding factor are numerous.
I have personally had many “I Suck” moments in my own life. As a shy, introverted kid it took a lot of pride-swallowing to admit I had to learn a lot about communication and socializing. I started on the bottom and faced more than a few failures. Now I have hundreds of friends and consider it to be a personal strength.
When I started this blog I was only seventeen and new to writing, blogging and hardly an expert. I had to face up to the “I Suck” moment and work hard to gain traffic. Looking at months of virtually no subscribers was just a small part of the ego-dissolving I needed to do.
How to Push Past the “I Suck” Moments
Nobody wants to be bad at something. Nobody wants to take a step backwards. Nobody wants to move from a comfort zone where you already kick-ass to one where you feel out of place. But sometimes it needs to be done.
Here’s just a few ideas I’ve found helpful for pushing past “I Suck” until you can eventually say “I’m Great!”
- Cut Denial - The hardest step is admitting you have a problem. Admitting that an area of your life isn’t as great as you want it to be. Or facing the truth that your current direction, while comfortable, isn’t taking you anywhere.
- Face Your Pain – Don’t fight it. If you feel crappy, search through it. Don’t dilute your depressed or uncomfortable feelings about a bad area of your life. Write out your thoughts and feeling. Admit “I Suck” liberally. It will substitute a chronic pain for an acute one. But facing those thoughts is the only way through them.
- Start at the Bottom - Push through your pride and start back at the bottom. If quitting your boring job to pursue your dreams means a cut in salary, you might have to take it. Losing one relationship may mean you need to stumble in your dating life.
- Find an Anchor - Find something that gives you self-worth. Anchor yourself in something more permanent so your self-esteem doesn’t crash when you face the “I Suck” moment. This could be family, spiritual beliefs, knowledge, close friends, skills or even the present.
You Don’t Really Suck
“I Suck” moments are an illusion in themselves. As painful as they are, once you go to the other side, you can’t imagine not having done it sooner. Although it may appear to be a dip in quality of life, the opposite often occurs. Looking back, the “I Suck” was more brief than it had first appeared.