I (You) Suck, Therefore …
I’m going to steal Descartes infamous statement: I think, therefore I am, and replace think with suck.
Suck in this context means struggling, not making enough progress, or not getting optimal results—in spite of our best efforts.
I want to talk about why it’s good to suck and keep sucking.
We all suck at something.
Feeling that you suck is the outcome of doing new things—there is nothing wrong with it. It’s nature’s way of gradually transitioning you to where you need to be—at you own pace and on your own terms.
The problem is with people wanting to teach you or give you advice on how not to suck. Most of the time you’ll be just fine on your own, doing your thing—just like a baby learning to walk. She doesn’t buy DVDs and courses on walking. She starts, falls and gets up again. In other words, she sucks at walking until she doesn’t—on her own.
Why no one can teach you how to un-suck
This is better explained with a practical scenario.
Take blogging for example. If you search for blogging training on Google, you’ll get about 23,000,000 (23 million) results. Meaning there are millions of resources claiming to teach you how to start blogging or become a better blogger.
Once you start a blog (which is simple), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the information available on how to become a better blogger. So instead of focusing on writing—and sucking at it—you spend your precious time and hard earned dollars on courses and newsletters hoping for magic to happen.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with paying for training and courses. They save you time in gathering the resources you need. But that’s it. You need to do the work—and suck at it. And please read the rest of this article before paying for more training.
There are inherent limitations to un-suck training, education, advice, tips or any other thing that has that objective. Consider the following:
Limitations of un-suck training/advice
It’s a generic—one size fits all formula. That doesn’t mean it won’t work. It’ll work for some but not all. Why? Because we’re not the same. Training doesn’t factor in your unique traits and abilities.
It focuses on the technicality, not the art of doing something. It teaches you the science (or steps of doing something) but not the art.
A blogging course can teach you how to write popular posts, how to increase your subscribers’ number and how to create buzz. But it can’t teach you how to express your unique perspective—in your own style.
There is an art element to almost everything we do in life. And that is the part that no one can teach you. It’s something you have to learn by—you guessed it—doing and sucking, till you define your own art.
It ignores your personal learning style. Think of the famous geniuses and how many of them didn’t complete their formal schooling. Training is usually based on the style that is most common, which may or may not work for you.
It barely touches the surface. No one can teach you how to use your intuition. Your gut feeling is one of the most valuable tools you have. Training tends to ignore this invaluable resource because it’s uniquely yours.
Sometimes what you learn clouds your judgment and inhibits your ability to connect with your innermost self and that’s not a good thing.
It doesn’t reflect who you truly are. This is the most important thing in the universe—to stay true to who you are. And no one can teach you that. The guidance can help you uncover some truths about yourself. But to allow your truth to shine through is your job—and yours alone.
A blogging course can teach you how to write attention-grabbing headlines, for example. You can learn the formula and use it, but if you don’t pay attention to your truth, you can lose your authentic voice in the process—you’ll still feel that you suck.
What does this all mean?
Don’t chase every learning and improvement resource out there expecting to find the cure for your shortcomings. You are your best teacher. Consider doing the following:
Do your thing. Do what you feel works best for you and have faith in your abilities. Tune in to your intuition and let it guide you—always.
Balance your expectations and don’t allow others to feed on your insecurities. Don’t expect miracles from products offering you all sorts of tools to turn you into a success. Again, listen to your gut feeling. If you’re inclined to pick something up, do it because you want to, not because you feel compelled to—out of fear or insecurity.
Embrace the fact that you suck with all your heart. Sucking is the in-your-face proof that what you’re doing really matters—to you. If it weren’t important, you would’ve given up the moment you faced the first challenge.
Feeling that you suck at something is a badge of honor—you’re not afraid to do something. If you continue to suck longer than others, that’s okay. It’s your journey, on your own terms. No one should dictate how much sucking this world can take.
Descartes statement shows that doubting one’s existence is proof of one’s existence. So the very act of doubting your progress— i.e. feeling that you suck—is proof that you’re making progress.
A few final words, and by all means personalize them as you wish.
- I suck, therefore I’m free—to do what’s right for me.
- I suck, therefore I learn—on my own terms.
- I suck, therefore I do—what brings me joy.
- I suck therefore I become—the best I can be.
- I suck, therefore I am.