She’s not even 5 years old yet, but my daughter knows the word. I remember we were all sitting around in our living room and someone spilled something and it was one of those moments when everyone stops for a second and looks at one another and then at the newly made mess.
Then she says it…and somehow she’s even learned to say it in a high pitched, sing-songy style, “Awk-ward!” Erin and I look at each other and laugh because we know exactly where she’s learned this.
We’ve all had our share of awkward moments, and if you can’t think of any that you’ve been through…it’s probably because you haven’t reached middle school yet. (can I get an “amen”?) A quick look at the definition of awkward shows us why we shy away from the awkward situation. Here’s the definition:
1 – causing difficulty; hard to deal with.
(see “I can’t even…)
2 – causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience
No one likes embarrassment and inconvenience…it’s the awkward that can be downright frightening, yet the road to awesome goes directly through Awkwardville.
Think about that first day of freshman year.
Think about that first date.
Think about that first workout in the gym.
Think about that first day at the new job.
Think about that first day that you began living out your faith.
Awkward lives at the beginning stages of anything significant. Just think about an infant that is learning how to walk. They repeatedly get up, rock a little bit, take a fearful jab step and then return to the ground with a thud. The difference is that infants are cute when they’re awkward. However, for the infant, on the other side of awkward is the awesome ability to walk.
If we want to grow in any facet of life, we have to be willing to embrace the immediate awkward outcomes so that we might have awesome opportunities in the future. Let’s get started…
Try Something New
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford
If you aren’t familiar with awkward moments anymore…it may be because you’ve ordered your life in such a way that takes awkward out of play. Some might call this “settling”, but I don’t think it’s so much settling, as it is safe.
Take a new class.
Teach a new class.
Talk to a friend about your faith.
Ask someone how you can pray for them, and pray for them on the spot.
Set a workout goal…and begin working out.
I started blogging one year ago…it’s been an up and down year. I’m still working through the awkward phases and figuring this whole thing out, but without trying I’d be nowhere.
In 2011, I began running and I couldn’t go one half mile without giving up. I’m slow. I’m weak. In my mind’s eye, I look graceful while running. In a mirror I look like Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes dancing while running. But without trying, I would have never finished a couple half marathons and a Tough Mudder.
What is something new that you’ve always wanted to try why not go for it?
Find A Guide
Every good story has a guide, someone who comes alongside the main character to help them through their problem. The problem that we all have when we try something new is that we’re no good at it, and it’s awkward.
Finding someone to journey with will help you endure the awkward and tough seasons and also celebrate little awesome victories along the way. Everything significant area of growth that I have experienced in my life is a result of another voice or many voices pouring into me.
Luke Skywalker had Yoda. You need a Yoda. Go find them…ask them!
If you’re looking for a guide, I’m available…let’s chat…firstname.lastname@example.org
Set Goals For Growth
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Yoda
I acknowledge that it is criminal for a guy who has never seen one Star Wars movie in it’s entirety to make multiple references in one blog post. But I digress.
Moving from awkward to awesome takes an intentional investment of time, and probably some amount of money. Here is where a good guide will come in handy, they can help you invest wisely to get the most from your time and money spent.
For a goal to work for you, it must…
Have a time limit.
Be in writing.
(from the EntreLeadership Goal Tracker)
Here are a couple of Free Resources to help you get started on setting goals for growth:
Michael Hyatt’s Goal Setting For Beginners
EntreLeadership’s Goal Tracker (email required to get the tool)
There are awesome breakthroughs waiting for you on the other side of awkward beginnings.
There’s no question that the most awkward beginning of my life was when I began walking with Jesus after making him the leader and savior of my life. I didn’t know what I was doing, and there are still plenty of days when I don’t know what I’m doing. I know that God is always faithful. I have tried to honor Him in any new endeavor that I attempt. The Holy Spirit and Scripture are the best guides. I’m so thankful for friends that have come alongside me to help me set goals and grow spiritually.
My hope is that this blog with help even one person.