Sunday, July 10, 2011

How big is your stumbling block, really?

Somewhere along the course of my life, I formed a belief about myself that 'I am not an "IT" person'.

Perhaps it was back in 1984, when Garran Primary School introduced Year Five to a weekly class on 'Computers', which was held in the Art room, taught by Mr Corp (the PE teacher) and consisted of us writing a program in our exercise books on 'How to Make a Cup of Tea'.

There was not a computer to be seen.  I remember staring at the art easles and paint pots and the words 'Run' and 'Enter' on the blackboard and thinking, 'I don't get computers!'  (I was also thinking, 'how do you make a cup of tea?)

The belief was compounded a decade later when I lost several months' of revisions on my 4th Year Honours thesis at uni.  I bawled into the third-hand word processor that we'd inherited from my Dad's work and the corrupted floppy disc and wailed, 'I don't get it!'

Fast forward another decade when I started a new job at the Defence Materiel Organisation and my boss asked me to knock up a pivot table in Access on my first day.

A what sort of table?  What's Access?  I'm a Word person.  I can barely find the Excel icon, let alone that of its flashy cousin.

The belief slipped out of my mouth before I'd thought twice, 'I'm not an IT person...'  He gave the pivot tables to someone else.

All of this leads me to this week, when I ordered a brand new, full-featured, e-commerce website with all the bells and whistles, sat down to add content into it and had two choices.  Either 'I'm not an IT person' (in which case you'll never see the new site) or I can be...

I made a rule for myself:

Aim for 80%

During the development phase, for every page on that site, my goal is 80% of 'right'.  'Perfect' has no part in my '80% now, fix the rest later' approach.  It's a website.  They're 'fluid'.

The result?  I can't put it down! 

Start today

What negative beliefs have you held about yourself for a long time - and compounded with new evidence over the years?

How long have you been allowing this to stop you from trying something new, which might prove to be enjoyable or fruitful?  What if this stumbling block isn't as big as you perceive it to be...

When you're stepping out of your comfort zone, experiment with 'ditching perfect'.  Feal that fear and throw yourself in despite it.  You might find a new passion!

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