Through clenched teeth, I could feel myself getting angry.
At 239 lbs. and standing 6 feet tall, not only was my opponent big, but he was incredibly practiced and skilled at jujitsu.
And I was neither of those.
Let’s just say, that session, sequences of 5 minutes of wrestling and grappling, left me very frustrated.
But that’s what it’s like to be a beginner, and everyone should do it.
Today, experts get all the press. But it’s actually highly valueable to constantly be a beginner in something, specifically in something outside your field.
Being a beginner sounds like a bad thing. It’s got a stigma. But when you get up to expert status, there are other challenges there as well, and as I’ve grown and tried new things, I’ve realized that climbing to be the expert and starting over has a beginner have a lot in common.
First, the process of starting is a driving factor in success. Starting feels like extra hours. Starting is not worrying about what others think, asking questions, and finding a coach.
If these things sound normal when you start, you’ll be comforted knowing that these are the exact same things that keep you moving forward as you grow and achieve.
Second, practicing the beginners mindset is paramount to being an expert. What is it about beginners that makes it so fun to coach them? If I’m in the coaching seat, it’s how fast they can learn and adapt. It’s amazing to watch someone take on information and make new decisions. But it’s a mindset they have to embrace.
They have to willingly accept that they do not know it all. Importantly, they must also be able to laugh, joke, and grow through their failures.
So, immersion learning has been a thing for me. Thirty hours in no more than 10 days. It might sound like not that much, but at the least that’s 3 hours a day. Usually it’s almost 5.
That mean’s I’m going in fast and furious to get as educated as I can.
Wanna know the one thing that’s usually in the way?
Here are a few things I’ve learned from my immersion learning this year, that have helped me not only have a good immersion learning experience, but have helped me in my businesses and careers to maintain perspective, grow quickly and succeed consistently.
You don’t know it all. Other people have way more experience than you and it’s okay to be the least experienced and educated in the room. It’s how you grow.
Laugh when you fail
This process should be fun. And, even if you’re frustrated, like I was, consider that you’ve been doing this for a handful of hours compared to someone that has been learning for years. Don’t underestimate the value of time and a headstart, but also don’t forget that the learning process, and failure, can be kind of funny.
Embrace the grind up
The point of this beginner’s theory is that starting from the bottom and grinding up is a worthwhile process to emulate elsewhere. But you still have to like it, or at least do it regularly. As you start out, you’ll likely be learning rudimentary things before you can learn the tricks. Go for the value learns, understand there is no shortcut to skill development, and get on the grind.
Know that everyone starts out bad
Everyone. Even natural talent that is noticed starts out bad. Most often than not, the experts that you aspire to have just gotten a head start and been doing it for 30 years, and know a few things about how to grow. They probably have a great mindset too.
Build as you make more investment
You can’t continue to grow without investing in time or money or both. Usually it’s cheaper to invest money, because you’ll have to sink in a lot of time. But, some parts of the process you simply can’t skip. You can get all the right tools and nice gym equipment you want, but you can’t skip the lifting part. However, as you grow, be prepared to consistently invest in this process.
Find good coaches and leaders
Coaches know what you’re going through and can help you see the forest from the trees. They can give you critical feedback, help you avoid injuries or setbacks, and make sure that you’re pushing hard enough to actually grow. If you find the right coach, you’ll develop a good relationship that pushes you forward. As a guy that does coaching (professional, start-your-business, alignment, etc.) and has coaches in those areas and now a few others, there’s nothing more valuable.
So my point is actually quite simple.
Start something new.
Be a beginner.
It’s the most valuable way to regain perspective on all the things you’re good at, how to get good at anything, and just how much time it takes to develop success.
Everyone wants it quick. But it won’t last unless you build the foundation.
Fall back to being a beginner and you’ll always be reminded of the right mindset anywhere, anytime.