In my experience, some things are so difficult the first time that people seldom see a second time.
The crazy thing is that with many things, if we will stick it out through the first time…or the first few times, it becomes much easier…even sometimes fun.
Here are 7 examples when the first time is the hardest:
Counseling – Some people resist counseling because of the stigma it has against it. I know married couples who go to counseling one time, then walk away from it and allow their marriage to continue to fall apart. I’ll admit, as one who has done a fair amount of counseling, that the first counseling session is often awkward, boring, and doesn’t always seem helpful. The counselor is getting to know the person and vice versa. It’s a difficult process. Push through it and most people will say counseling improved the quality of their life.
Running or working out – I used to say I was a good “walker”. I ran some in school, but as an adult I just didn’t enjoy it much. I would try ever so often only to vow I would never try again. I couldn’t get past the part I hated about running…running. At some point, however, I decided to discipline myself and commit to running for 30 days, whether I felt like it or not. I can honestly say it’s become one of the best parts of my life.
Writing a blog post – The first one never seems good enough to push the “Publish” button. I procrastinated before I wrote my first blog post. Looking back, they were pretty weak, but the early days prepared me for today. (Some may say they are still weak, but people are reading…just saying. )
Public speaking – Fear of public speaking possibly never goes away completely. I’m not sure we should ever lose that nervous edge before we speak, because it keeps us humble and makes us try harder. It’s critical, however, to stumble through the nervousness of the first speech if we ever hope to build the confidence needed to be an effective public speaker.
Failure – No one likes to lose. We don’t like to face the embarrassment of personal failure. At times, especially after the first major failure, it can feel as if life will never be any better than it is today. When we fail in subsequent times, however, it is easier to remember that time does heal wounds and that we can begin again…many times more successfully than before the failure. Some of us have even become “experts” in the subject area, because of past experiences. It’s made us who we are today.
Leading change – Change causes friction in an organization. People resist change and often resist the leader who introduces it. It can be intimidating enough that many leaders resist implementing change. When a leader pushes through the resistance and is able to see benefits of healthy change, the leader is more prepared to be an agent of change in the future.
Million $ – Okay, I honestly don’t know what this one is like for the first time. I got close on paper once. I’ve been told though that the making the first million dollars is the hardest. I do understand how that could be. Success breeds success, but, depending on the task, landing that initial success can often prove daunting. Many give up before it’s time. It seems when we push through the obstacles and realize a victory, that future success…though never easy…becomes more confidently pursued.
That’s my list.
What are other times you can think of where the first time is the hardest?