Embracing the Beginner Mentality
Updated: Jul 17, 2022
When is the last time that you were a beginner in something?
Could be anything, a new game you are playing, a new hobby that you've wanted to try, maybe you are learning a new skill for work.
If you are anything like me, you probably feel some impatience at having to go back to the beginning.
In the arts world, a lot of attention is given to idea of the 'Expert Mentality'. That many who succeed have adopted this mindset: Become an expert/authority in a particular niche within your desired field. It is about embracing specificity and standing out for what you know/can do. A trumpet player might specify that they are a jazz trumpet player, and from there they might specialize in playing the lead part in big band charts with those wild high notes.
The Expert Mentality pushes you to go deeper and deeper with specifics.
And this is a great thing. Especially when you already have experience and understanding of a particular field. It is simply easier to become an expert in something you already have some knowledge in.
But, what about when you have to do something new? What about you have to start over in a new discipline at level 1? When little of you have gained in another area, transfers over?
This is where the importance of the 'Beginner Mentality' comes in to play.
Being a great beginner is incredibly valuable.
So what makes a great a beginner?
Someone who is willing to fail to learn. Someone who is willing to admit that they don't know everything about the subject. Someone who is willing to learn and most importantly, listen.
A true beginner isn't put back by their lack of knowledge, but propelled forward by the desire to attain more.
How many times have you told yourself you can't do something because you've never done it before? Or because you aren't an established expert?
Following that 'logic', I shouldn't be blogging right now. This post shouldn't exist. Who am I to write something, I don't have a degree in this.
The solution is often simple. Be a willing beginner. Embrace the fact that you won't know everything about something new. That you will probably have to do some learning and listening to get to a decent level of success. That you are going to fail and make mistakes.
We all fall off the bicycle when we are learning to ride. That's part of riding the bike.
If you are a great beginner, then there is nothing you cannot do.