Embrace the Suck


I recently read an article entitled “Plateau Busting: How to get your life to the next level” on one of my favorite blogs “The Art of Manliness”.  Brett & Kate McKay used a phrase that just stuck with me “Embrace Your Suck.” I often say anything worth doing is worth doing poorly when you first start. We can be our worse enemy. We know how we want to end, but to endure the sucky parts is tough.  We want it to come easy and without a lot of effort, yet it doesn’t.  We look at those who successful and think “they make it look so easy” – IT’S NOT.
Every “genius” we admire started somewhere. Even prodigies learn and grow. Start now and be determined to achieve all your goals.

How do you “Embrace the Suck”?

Change your identity.

I became a saxophonist the first time I blew a squeaky spit filled flat G on my instrument in 6th grade. I sucked but I started. I never “tried to learn” how to play the saxophone. I played and I wasn’t good when I started. Over the years I got better.  I don’t play often any more and I’ve lost some of my skills, but I’m still a saxophonist!  I’ve started writing my first book.  I enjoy writing and I think I’m decent at it, but I’ve accepted that the first book is going to suck. But the learning is invaluable and my second book will be better.

Know you are either progressing or regressing.

As you practice you are getting better. Don’t short change this period. When I started playing sax, not only was I learning to play the instrument I was learning to read music, keep a beat, play with others and be led by a conductor.  There’s a lot going on when you start to learn something new. You may not see daily improvement, but you’ll look back and recognize all that work has paid off.  The opposite is also true.  Have you ever gone to see one of your favorite singers from you child hood perform live only to be disappointed that they couldn’t hit those notes from 20 years ago.  Yet other artists, perform so effortlessly after decades of performances.

Stay Committed to Your Goal

Your life will be like and EKG with it’s ups & downs. If it’s a flat line, you’re dead.  Just because you hit a dry spell and stop progressing, doesn’t mean you made a wrong choice or you should quit. It’s about breaking through those barriers. It may take a while, but you will get there.

There’s a lot in my life that I’m embracing the suck on right now: becoming a home owner for the first time, writing and speaking.  I’m keeping an open mind and ready to learn some hard lessons.

How do you embrace the suck in your life?