Why do we talk about, contemplate our struggles as weaknesses? Victories that must be won? Battles that must be fought? Inadequacies? Do we ever describe a skillset as anything other than ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Why in the world would we consider our potential to be shameful? Are we really less in a moment because we could know more or understand better or fear less?

How much kinder, more compelling, more encouraging, more motivating would it be to approach these learning curves from a positive perspective? I have SO much to learn in this area. I can learn so much faster when I’m a novice at a skillset than when I’m a pro. There is so much novelty to look forward to, and fewer expectations. It’ll feel incredible to be able to do x, y, or z. The learning curve is often easier and more fun than the intense focus required to obtain 1% further comprehension of a topic we’ve devoted to for an extended period.

For me, my thought pattern goes like this: I can’t do it. This is so much fun. This is getting hard. This is too hard. This is so rewarding. I have to get through the initial friction and overwhelm of not knowing where to start and not believing I can get anywhere, then I enter the beginning learning phase. Once I’m somewhat proficient, it takes a shocking amount of effort to focus on the nitty gritty and overcome the resistance, the temptation for distraction or evasion of that resistance, and to start realizing finite progress towards a goal of ultimate mastery. I would benefit a lot, save myself a lot of mental anguish, and time spent beating myself up or doubting myself, by imagining and feeling the sensation of the learning and not so much the product or result. And Jesus, stop comparing myself now to the person I could be if I had already mastered the task or overcome the fear or fought the battle. How vain and inconsiderate!

Realization of a goal doesn’t have to be a struggle, a weakness, or a battle. Call it what you will, but do it in kindness towards your present and future selves.

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