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No one wants anyone else to know that they are totally clueless at doing what they are doing. 

We all want to be perceived as professionals at our craft. We want everyone to think we own our stuff, we know our onions and that we eat our suya regularly.

And this mentality has robbed us of seeing the radiant beauty of being a beginner, an amateur.

I am still learning how to play the guitar. I am an amateur when it comes to this skill and I wouldn’t even attempt to put up a video of me playing clumsily on social media. If I was a professional player, I’d be doing video covers every time because “professional”.

Well, now that I think about it, there was this one time I put up a video of me playing on my WhatsApp Status. In my heart of hearts, I knew that I wasn’t really strumming the right notes. But guess what? Some people chatted me up to say they enjoyed the song.

What’s the lesson? When you do that thing that you think you are not a pro at, and you show it to the world, unashamedly, you are still going to touch some lives.

You may not touch every life, but your tribe will hear you and gravitate towards your direction, even in your “amateur-ness”

Now, playing the guitar is just one out of the many skills that people learn.

It could be that you are learning how to write, how to create designs, how to sell, how to advertise your work, whatever it is that you are learning how to do.

I just want to remind you, today,  that there’s nothing wrong with being an amateur. It’s totally okay to not know what you are doing at the beginning.

A huge part of growth as a creative is being unashamed of looking ridiculous in public.

And in the words of Clay Shirky: 

“Be unashamed about the work that you do. Toot your own amateur horn super loudly because five years down the line, your silliness will give way to professionalism.”

And even when you become a professional, never lose the “amateur spirit” in the words of Austin Kleon.

Written by Osham Ndubisi

5 Comments

  • Priscilla says:

    This!
    Such a simple message but it has accurately hit the target of my mind. Perfectionism has prevented me from pushing out my work. I will use this post as a push to continue rewiring my mindset. Thank you so much.

  • Temitope says:

    Thank you so much, for this wonderful piece, I’m so encouraged. I started podcast recently with videos that looks so unprofessional and not to good to me, still I hear so many people telling me that my messages on FB and Instagram blessed them.

    I am so encouraged with Lead Coach message today.

    God bless you ma.

  • Oluwaseun Omidiji says:

    This has blessed me, came at a time when I am learning on a new job and feeling like I failed or missed things I need to do. The pressure to get everything right immediately is on me. This message has taught me to keep learning and overcome fear of making mistakes

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