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Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Poorly

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Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Poorly

"I think doing that I'm not the best at has really humbled my take on trying new things," said Junior Anna Zapel, who has been doing climbing with her friends.

"I think doing that I'm not the best at has really humbled my take on trying new things," said Junior Anna Zapel, who has been doing climbing with her friends.

"I think doing that I'm not the best at has really humbled my take on trying new things," said Junior Anna Zapel, who has been doing climbing with her friends.

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For years, I wanted to play guitar. I’m not a very musical person, but the guitar was such a cool instrument to me and it was something I was so afraid I’d never be good at. I started late, and I didn’t really know how to read music, so I didn’t try.

Everyone has that thing. For some, it’s guitar, for others, it’s basketball. Everyone has something they want to be good at, but, for a variety of reasons, they don’t even try.

There’s an illusion of perfection, an idea that if something is done perfectly, no one will judge it. There’s a certain way a person is supposed to sound when they sing, a certain level a person has to reach to be alright at a game, and a certain way a painting is supposed to look. As a society, we fear failure, we fear being judged, and it hurts us.

“I’m super competitive,” said junior Anna Zapel. “I always want to get something right the first time and make sure I’m the best at whatever it is. So I tend to stray away from doing things that I wouldn’t be the best at.”

Zapel’s mindset is very similar to the way a lot of people think. By the time a person is in high school, they have a pretty good idea of their strengths and weaknesses. Diverging from that, especially if it’s different from the things they know they’re good at, can be paralyzing.

“The mindset of perfection isn’t necessary because you learn best from your mistakes, you just have to open yourself up to the idea of failure,” Zapel explained.

It sounds simple enough, but getting past a fear of failure has proven nearly impossible for a lot of people. So how does one do it?

“You just have to let go and send it,” said Zapel.

Life is all about taking risks, and it’s scary. However, it’s worse to never give it a shot. More often than not, people regret not trying more than trying.

In that spirit, I recently started learning ukulele, mainly because it’s a mini-guitar that will help me learn to do chords and strum (and also the ukulele is snazzy). Truthfully, I suck. I know four chords, and not well at all. But it’s fun and I want to get better, so I’m sticking with it.

“In my mind, just because true perfection is impossible, it’s no excuse to not strive for it,” said junior Wade Poltenovage. “I’m by no means perfect at anything, but I’m always fighting to improve because I want to do whatever it is justice.”

So sing off-key. Draw stick figures. Lose track meets. Do that boss battle eighteen-thousand times until you beat it. Mess up again and again, because anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.

The perk of working at something is that at some point, people stop failing at things. They find the right key. They figure out how to draw more detail. They win a meet. They beat the boss (eventually).

Don’t give up. You’ll get there.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

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About the Writer
Kailey Baldwin, Journalist

Eyo! I'm Kailey! I'm a huge writer, obviously because I'm writing for the school newspaper, but I'm also working on a novel, and I write a lot of poetry....

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Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Poorly