Do you long to create positive change in your life, but like many, feel frustrated and downright STUCK? Then please watch my video. You’ll see my horrible performance on the guitar (I have no shame, y’all!) and the valuable insights I’ve gained while learning something new.
I’ve played the flute since the age of 10. I no longer think about which combination of fingers press which keys to sound a particular note. Frankly, when I hear a melody, I’m able to recreate it instantly on the flute. Making music on the flute has become somewhat effortless.
I’ve played the guitar since, well, last month. It’s crazy. Just when I think I can remember how to shape a chord, I forget, and have to look at the chord chart again. It’s slow as molasses, not a pretty sound, and doggone it, my fingers hurt! In other words, learning to play the guitar is downright uncomfortable.
Do you long for positive change in your life? Allow me to share three significant life lessons have come bubbling up through this humbling experience of learning something new that I believe can be of help if you’re ready for a change.
1. Reframe the discomfort. When we get uncomfortable, we mistakenly interpret that feeling as our instincts telling us not to be brave…not to put ourselves out there. We pull back. We stop moving forward. Essentially, it’s tempting to quit on ourselves. Whenever you’re creating positive change in your life, whether learning a new skill, developing a new habit or letting an old one go, it’s uncomfortable.
But scientific, medical research tells us we’re actually creating new neuro pathways in our brains, literally altering our bio-chemistry. We’re forming new habits, new ways of thinking. We’re keeping our brains young and fighting Alzheimers.
So re-frame the discomfort as a good sign. In fact, celebrate that discomfort. When you go to the gym and the next day your muscles are sore, that’s a good thing! It means your body is getting stronger. When you are frustrated with a new skill, that’s a good thing! It means your brain is staying young.
All of my adult life, whenever I heard someone play the guitar, I said to myself, “I wish I played the guitar. It’s too bad I didn’t learn when I was younger.” As if I’m 98 years old and on my death bed. What’s up with THAT???
It’s not too late to learn something new.
2. Face your fears. Between you and me, I never tried the guitar, because I was afraid I wouldn’t be any good.
And then it dawned on me.
I want to play the guitar for my own enjoyment! It’s such a friendly instrument to sit in a circle with kids and sing a song together. And if they can’t stand the way I sound, then please refer to the previous paragraph: WHO CARES? I’ll just play for myself! And enjoy the fact that my brain is staying young!
3. Stick with it. What’s the difference between the effortless music from my flute and the painstaking music from my guitar? Time spent.
That’s right. Nothing magical or dramatic. Just good old fashioned time and elbow grease.
I applaud and celebrate YOU for every new, uncomfortable habit or skill you are trying to develop! Celebrate the discomfort, face your fears and stick with it!
I don’t know what new arena you’re facing, but I want you to know I believe in you. Most importantly, I want you to know that God stands ready to help you. Philippians 4:13 tells us we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”
I’d love to know what new thing you’re trying. Leave me a message below.
Remember: Reframe the discomfort, face your fears and stick with it!
P.S. Know someone who is feeling stuck? Please pass this along! And share with me in the comments below what new thing you’re learning. Beside the fact that I love hearing from you, others come here each week for insight and inspiration, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough. Thanks for adding your point of view!
With so much love,