I recently read the book Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan, which chronicles her year of saying “yes” to things in order to help her step out of her introvert comfort zone. It was a hilarious and relatable book that was full of valuable lessons, but one in particular stood out to me.
As the author puts it: “Being shit at being shit is just shit.”
Or, put more PG: being bad at being bad is just bad.
(Personally, I like the shitty version, but that’s just me.)
Jessica Pan writes this when referring to the tendency of someone who is placed out of their comfort zone to put in minimum effort in order to protect themselves from further embarrassment.
I know I’m guilty of it.
It’s hard to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. It’s hard to step out of your comfort zone and be yourself. Sometimes it feels easier to make it all a big joke, that way, if you fail, you’ll know you weren’t really trying in the first place.
But then again, we also learn, from an outsider’s perspective, that when we see people putting in that minimal effort, it doesn’t make them look “cool”, it doesn’t even protect them from embarrassment. In fact, we notice that lack of effort more than any failure, and it looks far worse.
Because there’s a difference between trying and failing and failing to try.
There’s a difference between “being shit” and being shit at being shit.
And, as previously stated, being shit at being shit is just shit.
So, the lesson here is: just be shit, you know?
Be bad at something.
But don’t be bad at being bad. Strive to be great at it.
Try your hardest and fail your hardest. But try. And don’t try halfway.
Don’t laugh it off or shrug it away. Don’t shrink yourself down. Go out there and suck to your full potential. Because that is what makes you cool. That is what moves you forward. That is what ultimately protects you and fights for you because it gets you out of your head, into the new, and onto the next.
You have to go through the shit to get to the good stuff. And sometimes going through shit requires you yourself to be that shit, and it’s learning to let yourself be the shit at being shit that ultimately gets you through the shit, you know what I mean?