Why do we struggle in the beginning

If you're learning something new and you’re frustrated because you think you’re not good enough then you're not alone. It's normal.

Akash Bhadange's photo
Akash Bhadange
·Jan 5, 2022·

3 min read

Why do we struggle in the beginning

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Whenever you start something new, for example, writing, coding, designing, or any other creative process, you are absolutely optimistic and excited about it in the beginning. You are full of positivity. You know you can finish what you started.

Then after some weeks or months, you start struggling. You start questioning your process and progress. You think you are not good enough. And it starts building frustration and anxiety. You reach a breaking point, where you want to quit. Many people do quit at this point. And start with something else. I call them hobby hoppers. One year they start learning to play guitar, next they hop on to cooking and then painting and so on. But they cannot master any of it. I was also one of them 🙈.

But when it’s about up-skilling yourself like learning a new coding language, new design tool, writing, communicating, etc. Sometimes these skills can make or break your career. Then quitting is not an option.

But let me tell you that this is totally normal! This is just a phase that can be passed on by practicing your new skill. By being consistent and resilient. Let me tell you why and what exactly it is:

The Taste

It’s an initial phase. This is the most stimulating one. Because you are doing nothing in this phase apart from building your taste for a new skill. For example, you want to start a YouTube channel. What do you do? You go to YouTube and start watching high production quality videos of some notable YouTubers. Amazing lighting, camera setup, crisp audio, effortless speaking.

After watching hundreds of hours of content you can distinctly tell the best quality videos because now you have developed the taste.

The Talent

Now you’re highly motivated and start learning and creating your videos. You spend months sharpening your video production skills. You accurately follow the tutorials of color grading your videos but it just doesn’t match. You record yourself talking in front of the camera but you hate your voice (everyone hates their own voice by the way). You start getting frustrated and start thinking of quitting. You think you will never be able to reach there. You never achieve that highest quality outcome. You know what you’re creating is not at all good. Do you know why this happens?

Taste <> Talent Gap

Why do we struggle in the beginning

Because your taste knows that what you are creating is not very good. You’re disappointed. This happens because of the gap between your taste and your talent.

A lot of people can’t pass this phase. Most of them quit. Everyone you know who is successful today has gone through this phase. They knew they are falling short. Their work was disappointing because it wasn’t matching with their taste. But they could pass that phase only by producing a continuous amount of work. By keep practicing the craft. You will be able to reduce that gap between your taste and talent over a period of time.

If you’re going through this phase then please please just keep doing what you’re doing. The phase could last for weeks or months. But don’t quit. Keep producing the work. Keep publishing that article or a newsletter every week or month. Keep doing that #100daysofcode or #dailydesignchallenge. This will only make you better and better.


The taste-talent gap concept was first tossed by Ira Glass. He is a host and executive producer of the popular National Public Radio show, This American Life.

I highly recommend you to watch this video:

Video credit: Daniel Sax

 
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