Feeling Stupid – Character Creates Opportunity®: Thursday, March 7, 2019

It has been said that discontent with our current situation is the first step in driving change. When things get bad and the pain of continuing our current path is greater than the perceived pain to change, then we begin the journey to change. When we get so sick and tired of our current situation then we make the effort to change. 

As we reflect on our own experience, we would probably see a similar pattern of delay until we reach the end of our rope and then we rally the strength and courage to change our ways.

After we overcome the first step and decide to change, it is often the second step that derails our efforts. When we change and try something new, the next step in the process is that we feel stupid (or incompetent, inadequate, or foolish). 

  • How did you feel when you first tried to snowboard?
  • How did you feel when you first tried to do yoga?
  • How do you feel each time your phone gets an upgrade with some new software?
  • How do you feel when you try to make a difference in your home and try something new?

As we try something new, we often feel stupid and sense a difficult road ahead with the new endeavor and we back off from effectively making the change.

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, finding ways to effectively deal with this second step in making a change will be critical for us to reach our full potential.

Our world continues to change at a rapid pace. If we are unwilling to learn new skills and adjust our behavior from time to time to be more effective, then we will soon find ourselves falling behind and not being our best for those we care about most.

Here are a few thoughts on helping all of us move more effectively through the second step of the change process, the sense of feeling stupid:

  1. Safety in numbers. Everyone feels stupid when they begin a new task…they may not show it as much as we feel it, but the truth is, everyone feels a bit inadequate from time to time.
  2. No pain, no gain. Ok, it is an overused phrase, but it is truth. Just like starting a new exercise routine, we know we are going to feel a bit sore as we work muscles in some new ways. Our experience would tell us that we do feel better in the end.
  3. Take baby steps. There is no need to take huge leaps into change. Small steps can build massive momentum over time. Just keep stepping forward and we will get better at the new task.
  4. Stay humble. Stumbling through new areas to learn and grow keeps us humble. Maintaining our humility is a good thing for ourselves and the example we set for others. Even is the best of times when we appear to be crushing it in this world, we don’t want to get too proud of ourselves…it can be super painful when we fall from a high place.  

As we become more intentional about working through the feeling of being stupid when we try new things, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity to reach our full potential and be our best for those we care about most.

Beautiful elderly woman looking at a smartphone

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