thank you for letting me suck

by michelle on April 22, 2012

Recently one of the teacher trainees lingered after class to chat. Her message was this:

“Thank you for letting me suck and not making me feel bad about it. Because if I felt bad about it, it would probably push me even further away where I wouldn’t even want to try.”

We can all relate, right?

In high school I dreaded competition, or rather the idea of sucking, so much that I didn’t play sports. As an adult I have quit or avoided things I wasn’t good at.

Granted, there is some wisdom in this — go where your natural proclivity is, go where things flow easily.

But there is obvious benefit in having to work hard for something, charting improvement, or not improving and just doing it for the joy of the doing rather than for the goal of a result.

And perhaps the greatest gift is the permission we can give ourselves — to not want to try, to try and fail, to suck.

What would you do if sucking at it really bad made no difference?

I’ll go first… I would:

play music in public
write a book
plant a garden
cook without a recipe
volunteer to work with kids with developmental disabilities learning to ride horses
teach more

Your turn…….

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy April 23, 2012 at 9:38 am

I would write different things, teach writing to grown-ups instead of 15 year olds and play a sport.

Been thinking about you, lady-friend. Catch up soon?


Liz April 23, 2012 at 11:18 am

I would…

get back on the surfboard
pick up painting
play the ukulele
ride a skateboard
do my hair and makeup!


Carmen April 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Whoa. Are you in my head or what Michelle? I just wrote about this yesterday. I’ve decided to take up writing again and actually have a goal of writing a book (not just “writing”) and it scares the crap out of me. What if it sucks? What if I suck?

But you’re right. It doesn’t really matter, does it?

Other than writing, I would sing in public or play and instrument. Like the bongos. That would be awesome.


Christine April 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm

this is part of the reason it has taken me years to start a yoga practice (and ok, technically i haven’t started *yet* but i already told tami i would try some classes at IAY this week so now i’ve gotta do it).

other things:

write for a living
play a team sport
sing in public
get truly fluent in spanish

when i lived at a zen center, there was a ceremony we did each month for the full moon. in it, the abbot/abbess would do some of the chanting alone. a friend once described the way one abbess chanted that portion like “she had nothing to lose.” i like to think about that whenever i’m afraid to do anything. because really, truly “we” have nothing to lose, or perhaps only one thing: an idea of who we think we should be.


Rebekah April 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm

LOVE this blog post and oh boy can I relate! I would:
learn a language
do yoga at home
play an instrument
make art


denice April 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

belly dancing- absolutely.
oh and…hmmm…yup…that’s it.
Belly dancing!


Robert Webster April 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I liked “ride a skate board”! And… Play blues harmonica, sing and perform as one of The Pips, learn to build my own bicycle frames.


Kate April 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

I would….ride a skateboard too. Ride a horse again. Play the piano when someone else is home.


Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School April 25, 2012 at 12:34 am

write a book! write a book! write a book! i guess that means write the THREE books floating around in my head.

teach more yoga. oh wait, that’s on my life/birthday list, so i guess i have to do that one before march.

and it looks like we need to start the it’s all yoga family band because we really do have a lot of secret musicians in our midst. sing? play drums?


Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School April 25, 2012 at 12:35 am

oh! and i want in on a hang out. dammit.


cindy whitcher April 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm

sing at the top of my lungs in a chorus or choir, ie I wish I could sing!


Karla Bradbury May 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I would dance in public.
Take a physics class.
That’s all I can think of. Most everything else I don’t do is because of being low energy (I refuse to call that lazy!) and disorganized.


Althea May 4, 2012 at 11:13 am

I would…
sing out loud
learn French
Kick-box (can’t wait!)


Robert Webster May 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

Althea, You already kick @$$ in class! Now you want to kick box?! :)


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