Happy to be a work in progress.

I’ve wanted to start a blog for about 2 years.

I’d keep writing posts until they were about 95% finished and then deleting them.

They had to be perfect.

Last week, I was walking back from the shop with my younger brother Jude and told him this. He laughed and said: ‘why don’t you just publish one? It doesn’t have to be perfect.’

Then it hit me. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The whole point of starting something new is to see if you like it and maybe learn something in the process. Sharing ideas is something I enjoy doing and would like to get better at. So why not just start publishing a blog every week?

The only way to get better at something is by trial and error- not by being perfect from the start.

Our brain tricks us into thinking- if this is no good, then people will judge me, I’ll get laughed at etc.

But so what?

I had to decide what was more important to me; caring what people might think, or doing the thing that I wanted to do.

And if you want to do something, but don’t do it because you are scared of what other people might think – then how much freedom do you really have?

It took me about 30 minutes to press the publish button – but I did it.

Although I had no idea what would happen next, I went to bed that night feeling like I’d done the right thing.

I recently read the book- ‘Mindset’ by Dr Carol Dweck.

Dweck’s twenty years of research in developmental psychology has revealed one key finding:

The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.

People either have a fixed mindset, or a growth mindset.

Fix minded people believe abilities are ingrained. They believe geniuses were born that way, and that ability is something you either have or you don’t in certain areas of your life.

Growth minded people believe that the brain is like a muscle that gets stronger the more it gets worked on. They believe intelligence, personality and even happiness can be worked on.

We develop these beliefs at a young age. Take the example of two kids going back to two different homes after doing well on a test at school.

The first child comes home, gets a pat on the back and is told he is smart.

The second child comes home, gets a pat on the back and is praised for the work he put in.

The first child learns to associate success with being smart. But if he is smart because he succeeded, what does that mean when he fails?

If you believe you are smart, then taking on a difficult challenge is very risky indeed. If you mess up then who you are as a person gets diminished. You now have a self-image to protect.

The second child associates success with the amount of effort he has put in, and failure with not applying himself enough.

If you believe you have nothing to lose by taking on a new challenge- you can only learn and grow from it.

They are looking for opportunities to grow; while the other group are busy protecting their self image.

Which one are you? I know which I’d rather be.

I enjoy sharing ideas and want to get better at writing, and blogging happens to be a great way to learn both.

Right now I’m happy to be a work in progress.

As long as I’m moving in the direction I want to be going in.

Picture of Niall McKeever

Niall McKeever

Writer and Founder of The Weekend University. Passionate about making great ideas more accessible.

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