BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

Do What You’re Bad At

How do you turn a weakness into a strength?

Practice, obviously.

You have to practice what you struggle with in order to master it.

If you’re weak in the legs, you have to do a bunch of squats.

If you keep stalling your stick shift, you have to drive circles around a parking lot.

If you’re an inconsistent writer, you have to commit to writing every day.

This seems like a straightforward equation. And it is.

But what makes it so difficult to solve is human nature.

While human nature doesn’t like weakness, it likes doing what’s required to overcome it even less.

Who enjoys immersing themselves in something at which they suck?

In my golf bag, I have 14 clubs (the maximum number the rules allow you to have).

My least favorite club is my 4-iron, because, predictably, it’s the one I struggle with the most.

Because of its length and lack of loft, it’s inherently the hardest to hit well. But over the last little while, I’ve magnified its difficulty by avoiding it altogether.

Now, in addition to any physical challenges I’ve had with it, I’m battling a mental block, as well.

And thus, nothing ever gets better.

Convinced the only remedy was total immersion therapy, when I went to the driving range yesterday, I left all but one club in the car. I didn’t want to give myself the chance to dodge it.

The ensuing bucket of practice balls I worked through was filled with flailing mis-hits, extended embarrassment and an overwhelming sense of inadequacy.

At one point, I questioned if this self-flagellation was worth it, or if I’d be better off calling it quits.

The overhead sun was cooking, and the air-conditioned comfort of my couch was beckoning.

The answer seemed easy, even obvious. And it was.

After taking a deep breath, I wiped the sweat from my face and raked over another ball from the bucket.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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