Fear is learned. If you need proof, simply look at a child. Youths are unknowingly courageous in everything they do—until taught not to be. Elders smother them daily with “helpful” expressions of the “be careful” or “please ask permission first” variety that eventually roll into “you better not receive a B grade” before arriving at the ludicrous “you might look badly” or “you don’t want to fail.”

For the first two decades of your life, you are trained to seek permission as you effectively live someone else’s version of your life. As you evolve into adulthood, you take direction from bosses that don’t know any better, colleagues that discourage you from throwing caution to the wind, and others who encourage you to conform to society’s version of sane.


You’re stuck. No matter who you are, you get stuck whether it’s for a year, month, day or a brief moment. I’ll surrender that as I type these very words, I’m stuck regarding a few major projects that I want to push forward. It happens.

There is one other principal that is important to keep in mind. Whatever you consider mastery—whether of your profession, hobby, marriage, parenting, and so on—is truly a temporary state. Any level of your progress will never be a permanent condition, but rather a snapshot in time.

How can you reinvigorate yourself whenever you need to push forward? Take these five cues from beginners:

They have no expectations. Expectations are certainly okay in some cases, but if you’re in a rut or looking to proceed further it’s better to simply proceed without judgment. If you can remove judgment, you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully “reckless” you can be.

They dive right in. Just give it a try. Take a swing. See what happens. Their second attempt usually immediately follows their first—without hesitation.

They have no fear. To echo my previous remark regarding their second try, they haven’t yet slowed down because it takes time for fear to be conditioned. Also, reread the first two sentences of the article.

They don’t have the “curse of knowledge.” Once people become “experts” at something, they stop taking a fresh approach because their viewpoint narrows thanks to the information and experience they have. Wipe your mind clean and attempt to approach it without being influenced by what you think you know.

They laugh and have fun. Remember when you use to?

P.S. Now I think I’ll reread my article and put some of my own advice into action!

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