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The Power of Doing (Sucking)

For me, the phrase, "just do it" is almost synonymous with Nike. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I must admit that it has made me completely numb to the phrase over the past five years. So numb that even when I hear the phrase in its appropriate context, removed from anything Nike-related, I just think of Nike and it has little to no effect on me. While this may seem like a super random introduction, pretty removed from the title of this post, it isn't. Doing is hard. Doing is so difficult that oftentimes people hold themselves back from achieving the things they want to accomplish simply because they don't do

Honestly, I can relate to this more than I'd like to admit. Most of the time when we have something that we want to do, what keeps us from starting it is our belief about what might happen if we were to do it. The potential consequences. These consequences might include judgment, wasting money and time, and just being bad at the thing(s) we wish to be good at. While all of these consequences are real, if we don't allow them to stop us from starting, or stop us from continuing once we start, many of them are temporary.

Taking the first step is the hardest part, but often what we don't consider is that in doing, and sucking, you begin to learn and understand the intricacies of the thing you're pursuing. You begin to understand what exactly you don't know and thus are able to create a roadmap to gain the skills that you need. I think about my time in jiu-jitsu when I first started, and even now. You get smashed on the mats, twisted into pretzels, and strangled into oblivion. But if you keep going, eventually you find it's starting to take longer for someone to choke you. Little by little, you realize that you're starting to get the best of people in certain exchanges. You might still suck, but you begin seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Trust me, that light is not your black belt, but it is your improvement. 

This applies to many decisions and ventures in our lives. There is a symbiosis and interconnectedness between doing and sucking that can create incredible outcomes. You do and are bad, but you keep doing despite your badness and you begin to improve. Of course, you can't do the exact same thing and expect different results, but in sucking, you learn what works and what doesn't. Your mind expands as you begin to get a better understanding of what you don't know. 

For the more permanent consequences of starting something, what you may find after starting, sucking, then eventually getting better is that some of those will consequences will always exist, regardless of how good at something you actually become. Hate and judgment, for example. The people who get paid the most amounts of money for the services they provide still get hate. It becomes a matter of trade-offs. Going back to the jiu-jitsu example, chronic soreness may always be a consequence of rolling around with sweaty men three times a week, but if you value your improvement in jiu-jitsu more than you value not being sore, this becomes an easy equation. If you're going to receive judgment and criticism whether you're good or not, you might as well start and become better at something you have a passion for.  

Now, I'm not advocating that anyone blindly jump into some endeavor. Analysis is a good thing, and usually should be done. This post is specifically for people (myself) who work themselves up over all the little minute details and become so preoccupied with their analysis that they never do. Paralysis by analysis. At some point, no more analysis is going to make a difference. You know the pros and cons, you understand the potential risks. If you still want to proceed in spite of this, then the only thing holding you back is your inaction. 


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