When You Love Something You’re Horrible At

Tatiana Figarola

It’s easy to laugh at someone when they fail and make a fool of themselves, like the times that we let out a giggle at someone who stumbled on a skateboard or drew a horrible picture. We think it’s okay to humiliate these people because they haven’t mastered their skill yet, which they should aim to do. And, by society’s standards, if they can’t become good at it, they should quit.

Such a mindset is extremely common. But, what if one wanted to pursue a hobby that they love, but are completely inept at? Should they continue to do it, even if they see little progression over long periods of time? What could they have to gain from doing so?

tati caldron

In her New York Times article, “It’s Great to Suck at Something,” Karen Rinaldi says, “The notion of sucking at something flies in the face of the overhyped notion of perfectionism. The lie of perfectionism goes something like this: ‘If I fail, it’s only because I seek perfection.’ Or ‘I can never finish anything because I’m a perfectionist.’ Since the perfectionist will settle for nothing less, she is left with nothing.”

She says that if you only strive for perfection and quit if you can’t achieve it, you’ll be left with missed opportunities, and probably a boring life; however, as long as you enjoy what you’re doing, why should your proficiency be so significant?

If we remove the emphasis and pressure of perfection, maybe we could learn to experience and appreciate the moments in our lives more. If we start to pursue activities out of our comfort zones that we admire but know we wouldn’t excel at, we could learn perseverance, discover new passions, and more.