…And Breathe: Trying New Things
A mental-wellbeing column by counsellor, Kristen Bauer
Ever heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none?” Well, I was ‘today years old’ when I learned there was a second half to that saying that goes, “but oftentimes better than master of one.” I have often heard the first part of this saying said in a negative way as if to insinuate that we should choose one skill, one career to master over dabbling in learning many skills.
While there is nothing wrong with being a master of one skill, I also think that there is merit in being good at many different things. I have, at times, felt held back in my life because I’ve been so scared to fail and if I can’t be the best at something then why even try, right? But here’s the thing, failure is good because it gets you closer to what you are good at and every time you fail you learn and you grow.
There is a wonderful saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson that says, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” It doesn’t matter whether these experiments are successful or not, the important part is that you keep on trying.
My husband and I have been watching Jeremy Clarkson’s new show, Clarkson’s Farm, and loving it. Basically, Jeremy Clarkson bought a farm back in 2008 and recently decided to take over the reins from his retired farmhand. The show takes you through the trials and tribulations that he faces while learning how to run his farm. Although Jeremy fails a lot, he doesn’t let that stop him from persevering and trying something new.
I am the guiltiest of all when it comes to procrastinating. I make excuses as to why I can’t do something or start learning that new skill that I’ve been wanting to try for ages. I’d really like to change that. There is no pressure to be the best, we just need to try and do the best we can. Perhaps there is something that you’ve always been wanting to do or learn and you’ve been waiting for the right time to give it a go.
It can feel overwhelming trying something new or we might feel trapped in our circumstances, but it only takes one small step at a time to make a change. It is easier to climb a ladder if the rungs are closer together than if they are stretched far apart. The top of the ladder may seem far away but with many small steps, we can make it to the top. I’ll end with a quote from Nido Qubein, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start”.