Everyone Starts at the Beginning

Everyone Starts at the Beginning

Remember learning how to ride a bike, or roller skate, or swim? Maybe for you it was learning to write your numbers and letters, or type on a keypad, or use a smart phone. We could even take it to the very basics of learning to walk and talk, we all had to do that.

The point is, everyone starts at the beginning of something. When you learn something new, you aren’t an expert, you’re a beginner.

Some people get embarrassed about their inability to achieve perfection when they are first learning something. There is absolutely no need for embarrassment. Chances are, the person teaching you was in the same situation you find yourself in… a beginner… learning to become better.

Of course, the flip side of that is some people get frustrated when they are partnered with a beginner. They seem to have forgotten that everyone starts at the beginning, even them. These folks tend to get upset when paired with a newbie in a sporting event, because they are so focused on winning. They might get angry having to wait behind someone who is using some technology equipment, because they are in a hurry, or just plain impatient.

Sometimes it helps to remind them that they had to learn it at one time, too.

If you are dealing with a beginner, in whatever capacity, here are a few tips to help alleviate their embarrassment and your frustration…
• Be patient
• Be kind
• Explain things as often as needed
• Check for understanding
• Ask if they have any questions
• Let them try it
• Assist them, don’t do it for them
• Take it at their pace, not yours
• Gently guide and encourage
• Expect beginner level results
• Remember that you were once a beginner

If you are just learning something, give yourself some time. Most people don’t become experts overnight, or even in a week, or possibly a month. Remember, everyone starts at the beginning, and practice makes perfect.

*Pam Horton is a certified Stress Management coach in the Raleigh area.*