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Overcoming beginners' pain

Overcoming beginners' pain
By Elizabeth Filips • Issue #17 • View online
I wonder if the feeling “who do I think I am?” is universal.
Maybe you’ve wanted to learn to dance better, but were ashamed of signing up for a class. Maybe you wanted to share a photo of a particularly good lunch online, but remembered your friends commenting on how “cringe” other people are when they do it. Maybe you’re a medical student who can’t share a photo with a stethoscope online because you’d feel like you’re bragging.
I tend to massively overthink the way others think I think of myself.
I’ll try to make this make sense: I don’t want people to think that I think I’m better than I am. I’m an expert in self-deprecating humour, because 99% of the time, I mean it. I signal constantly that “heyyy, I know I’m horrible!”, especially when I think I might really be.
But honestly, how stupid is that.
It comes from a place from judging a beginner with the standard of an expert. Posting a photo with a stethoscope isn’t cool as medical student, but it’s OK as a doctor. Posting videos with 10 views is embarrassing, but with 10,000 is cool. It just doesn’t make sense.
Why have we agreed to shame beginners, and take it upon ourselves to feel even worse than we usually would for being one? It’s hard enough as is.
I spoke to a YouTuber recently who said the secret to his success “was having big YouTuber energy from day one.” And although of course, I’m not advocating for lack of insight and unfounded confidence. But perhaps for those of us who sit on the whole other end of the spectrum, we do well with just letting go of some of the anxieties.
It’s OK to be a beginner. And if you stick with the cringe long enough, you’ll learn to let it go and improve. It’s not OK to strive for coolness, but you’re probably get there anyways.
Wishing you a great week,
Elizabeth xx

🪄 Quote of the week
“Positive judgments don’t cancel out negative judgments, because the problem is with judgment itself.“ 
— Alfie Kohn
🖤 My Favourite Things This Week
Books - I’m currently reading quite a few (hence no newsletters, because I haven’t finished any of them yet 😅).
Podcast - I loved this recent podcast on the Tim Ferriss Show. It’s a super-inspiring and insightful journey of a lady through almost dying of cancer in her youth, and the rediscovery of what is valuable in life.
Song - It’s another old one I rediscovered randomly, I used to have it on my Soundcloud playlist (remember that?) ages ago. I like to listen to it lying on my bed in the dark.
🐓 Not-so-great this week
It’s actually been an emotional week. A childhood friend has been close to dying. It’s felt surreal, painful, numbing. I don’t think I can follow this up with more casual issues this week.
🎥 YouTube Videos this week
A Day Off in the Life of a Medical Student
A Day Off in the Life of a Medical Student
The Truth About Ali Abdaal
The Truth About Ali Abdaal
Did you enjoy this issue?
Elizabeth Filips

Heya, I'm Elizabeth, a medical student and painter in London. Some Sundays I write about exploring meaning, productivity, little pleasures and just navigating life. And some of my favourite things that week.

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