Everybody was a baby once
Though somewhat of a cliché, I think it's worth remembering that in any scenario, based on our skills and experience we have gained up till that point, we can only ever do our best.
As my internship approached last week, I found myself growing nervous about jumping into an environment of people experienced in the non-profit world. People well read on International Development, with their own personal views and missions. People well versed in the IT skills required in an office-based job. I was afraid of being embarrassed by my relative inexperience in these departments.
But why? If I compare myself to everyone else in the organisation, of course I'm going to be behind. I've spent the last ten years working on my skills as a musician, and not doing a great deal other than that. And I've made no secret of that fact.
All I can do is my best. And remember that any shortcomings I have are largely due to a result of having concentrated my efforts into different areas.
When I teach drums, I often see my students get embarrassed when they struggle to grasp an exercise straight away. "It's just I've never done it this way before," they say. And my response tends to be:
"Of course you haven't, that's why we're doing it. I wasn't expecting you to get it first time."
But I am not always so patient and sympathetic towards myself, and I do not always expect others to have the same level of patience and sympathy towards me.
So I think if we can remember that a lack of ability in a certain area is often simply due to a lack of experience based on what we have chosen to prioritise up to this point, we can allow our novice status to have less of an impact on our self-esteem, and so be more prepared to explore unfamiliar territories.
I've heard people say that it is mind-set not skills-set that masters most. I think I get that now.