Do Things Badly
Thu, June 18, 2020 by
Fear of getting it ‘wrong’ is one of the biggest barriers to trying something new.
Perhaps you would like to do something creative you have never done before, or not for a very long time: draw, or dance to music, or sing a song, compose a poem, write a story. But you’re worried you will get it wrong, or feel foolish, or undermine your dignity…
Sometimes telling yourself, ‘Don’t be a ninny, just get on with it!’ works.
And sometimes it doesn’t! The fear is too strong.
Here’s another way through this difficulty.
Start by deliberately doing the new activity as badly as you can. Get all that anxiety and awkwardness out of the way in one go. Laugh at yourself, and with yourself, and clear the decks for moving on in a more relaxed and proficient way.
For example, put some music on and dance to it. But at first, deliberately move as awkwardly as you can. Be lumpish, out of time with the music; gesticulate wildly and inappropriately.
Do this for a few minutes. Enjoy yourself.
Then, tentatively at first, let yourself move more in tune with the music. How does that feel?
Want to sing a song? Start off on a note that’s really too high for you. Deliberately mess up the rhythm. Vary the pitch all over the place. Sing some parts too loud, and other parts too soft. Throw in the odd inappropriate word.
Once your voice and energy are warmed up in this way, let yourself shift into singing the song ‘properly’. How does that work for you?
You would like to draw, but you are blocked because when you were at school the art teacher made fun of your efforts in front of the whole class? Get a sheet of paper and draw stuff really badly. (“Here’s one in the eye for you Mr So-called ‘Art Teacher’. ‘Fart Teacher’ more like…”). Draw a house with wobbly walls and weird windows. Draw a tree with a huge trunk and tiny branches. Draw a car that’s misshapen and impossible.
When you’re tired of drawing really badly, see what it’s like to draw differently, in your own way.
Who knows what may emerge on the page?
Blog by Pete Armstrong