The word courage is written on a rectangular piece of fabric. The fabric is torn and slightly frayed around the edges. It's laying on a wooden surface with a rough grain pattern.

“If I only had a nerve.”

With change come risks. Some are big, some are small. Most are uncomfortable. 

All take consistency to overcome. 

And courage.

In The Gap, Ira Glass speaks passionately about courage. 

About having the resolve to fight your way through mediocrity. About closing the gap between your ambitions and the quality of your work. 

Going from bad to good, better to best. 

Glass is referring to creativity and writing. But it applies to any creative craft. 

Extends beyond, actually. 

Learning a new skill, stepping outside your comfort zone, seeking personal growth—all require courage to get started. 

And to keep going

James Clear reminds us of this in his 3-2-1 Newsletter. He says:

  • In the beginning, your skills are raw, your knowledge is sparse, and you lack experience. At best, you will be able to produce work that is “just okay.”
  • You’ll worry about what others think of you. You’ll wonder whether you would be better off taking a different path.

  • One of the main obstacles between who you are and who you could be is courage. The courage to keep trying even if you’re not yet as good as you hope.

  • The only way to be exceptional later on is to have the courage to be “just okay” right now.

  • This is how it is for everyone.

Read that last bullet again.

We all share a similar experience. You’re not alone in the struggle.

It’s normal to be underwhelmed by early results. To be disappointed in your output and to doubt yourself. 

It’s to be expected.

So, set realistic expectations. For some, it takes years to close the gap. 

I’m still trying. 

Hopefully you are, too.

*feature image by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

There are three pencils, each with a broken tip.