When I was in getting my undergrad degree, I quit Spanish 102 because I got a C on a test.
Yes, this is embarrassing so let me back up a bit.
Learning languages is very difficult for me. I feel completely out of my element, like those dreams you have where you show up to the County Fair completely topless and everyone stares at you.
That’s how Spanish felt for me: topless at the Country Fair. It didn’t help that, because my last name started with “A,” the professor called on me first every class to speak out loud.
My cheeks were a permanent flaming red.
“Looks like you need to go back to 101,” he would often snort after I stumbled my way through conjugations.
I cried on more than one occasion at my desk.
So I tried harder.
I got private tutoring.
I went to the professor’s office time and time again for help.
I took 3 hours to complete a take home, open book, open note text.
And I got a C. (I think I actually got a 69 but he rounded up).
I was done. I was NOT getting it. I SUCK at learning languages.
So I quit. (Right? Wrong? I don’t know. Greek was a lot easier!).
I don’t like doing things I know I’m not good at, a list that, in addition to learning Spanish, includes:
-Running (when I was a kid my family said I ran like a duck)
-Sport that use balls (Who am I kidding…ANY sport)
-Driving in New Places
-Tasks which involve spacial reasoning (“seeing” a project in 2D or 3D to know how to lay it out)
…and many other things.
Like Spanish class, I tend to avoid or quit activities that I am no good at.
I know myself. I hate feeling inept, confused, and stupid.
But what do you do when you want and need to get better at something that you really, really suck at?
There’s another thing on my list of Things I am REALLY Bad At=
Computer Stuff/Website Design/The Back End of Blogging.
About 6 months ago, I decided that I really wanted to develop as a blogger and get serious about my writing.
So I switched from my blogspot blog (www.mengalings.blogspot.com) to a WordPress.com site.
This was a great move. WordPress has helped me grow my platform, my readers, and has great tools to help build strong blog posts.
But this move was also a great mistake. You see, I didn’t do as much research as I should have in deciding which blog format to move to.
Based on my lofty “Growth Goals” I should have chosen a WordPress.ORG site.
Yeah, they are two different things. I didn’t know either.
When I discovered my mistake a few months ago, I threw back my head and groaned. I had just gotten used to working in WordPress.
It was a learning curve for me but, hey, I was doing it! I figured out some things. I was getting followers and I set up an email link thingy, and I connected my Facebook page to my blog all by myself. WOOT!
But WordPress.com is limited and I was hitting the limits of the website in just a brief 6 months.
So I did some more research (ha!) and chose a self-hosting company to host my blog and made the switch.
If switching from blogspot to WordPress.com was a learning curve, switching my blog to my own hosting site has been like staring at a 20 foot wall with a voice behind me telling me to “Jump!”
It’s like mental sports–and, remember, I’m no good at sports.
Sure, I could have paid $300 for them to move my site for me but I don’t have that kind of money. I already paid enough for new site to host my blog!
I needed to figure it out.
And so many, many times in the last two weeks I have wanted to quit.
I didn’t even have a C in this process.
I had a big fat F, as in FAILURE.
As in, 3 days ago, I clicked a button and lost all 8 years and 500+ post on my blog.
I also lost all of my formatting.
All of my followers.
It’s a mess, ya’ll.
I don’t know what the heck I am doing.
I am a writer, not a website designer.
I don’t understand this stuff.
I feel stupid.I don’t even know the right questions to ask Google most of the time.
But what do you do when you want–no, need– to get better at something that you are not good at?
You keep trying, damn it.
You ask for help from people smarter than you (Thank you Elise! Thank you Jonathan! Thank you Donna! And THANK YOU Aaron, dear husband).
And you pray, pray, pray that God will help you and your pitiful inept mind to find the right way, the right question, the right people, the right path.
You keep moving forward.
You keep your Big Goal in mind
And you scale that learning curve, even though your knuckles are bloody, and your heart is racing, and you are angry and irritated and tired and you just want to quit.
I want to be a better blogger. So that means that I need to learn some stuff about website design and the back end of blogging.
I hate it, because I am no good at it.
I may never be good at it.
But little by little, I can get better.
Do you avoid or quit things you are no good at?
What steps do you take to scale your learning curve?
Share your story below!