Making More Mistakes

“Creatures of Discomfort” is the name of the first chapter of the latest Adam Grant’s book “Hidden Potential.” With the subtitle “Embracing the Unbearable Awkwardness of Learning.” This immediately resonated with me and hooked my attention.

Being very curious by nature, I love learning probably more than anything else. I can spend hours and hours doing this. Usually, it is a very pleasant activity for me. Until I start practicing it in real life. And feeling:
→ Silly
→ Clumsy
→ Awkward
→ Ridiculous
→ Discomforted

Making More Mistakes from Adam Grant's book "Hidden Potential"

In learning languages, I like studying grammar the most. Understanding the logic of the language, sometimes very special. Doing the exercises. A little bit of vocabulary too. Answering a teacher’s questions. But not talking to people. At least until I learn the language to some “decent level”.

But the real results come from practicing and going through all this awkwardness. Not from studying theory and doing exercise.

I can now speak 3 foreign languages, which I mostly learned as an adult. Looking back now, I understand that the biggest mistake I have made is starting to speak too late. I was waiting for the moment when I could speak decently without making errors, at least bad ones. Never happened. I still make many mistakes, but I bother much less now. Languages are, first of all, a communication tool, and if people can understand me, it is already good enough. Even if I think that they think that I am stupid 😉 As it is exactly the mistakes that help us progress the most.

Making More Mistakes from Adam Grant's book "Hidden Potential"

Adam Grant, in his book, puts it this way, that while in theory making more mistakes is perceived as:
👀 Looking stupid
👀 Feeling shame
👀 Being laughed at
👀 Experiencing discomfort

Making More Mistakes

In reality it is:
💪 Getting smarter
💪 Gaining courage
💪 Laughing at yourself
💪 Expanding your comfort zone

Looking Stupid vs Getting Smarter from Adam Grant's book "Hidden Potential"

P.S. Other things that I learned as an adult through great discomfort and awkwardness:
→ Skiing
→ Ice skating
→ Roller skating
→ Snowboarding
→ Public speaking
→ Trainings conducting
→ Driving a car and later a motorcycle

Making More Mistakes

Some of them I can do quite well now, some are still challenging. But with every new skill I learn, I am really expanding my comfort zone and not afraid anymore looking stupid, feeling shame and being laughed at.

Making More Mistakes





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