Permission to be a beginner

by Amy Young on July 17, 2020

Today was my fourth day of driving with my recently turned 15-year-old niece. With a few hours of driving together under “our” (this is not the royal we, if you’re teaching new drivers), we were both feeling good about her progress.

And then we had three near misses. One in a parking lot with a wall (thank you Jesus for my screaming, “Brake!!!”). One on a road as she drifted up the curb (we had talked about her tendency to be too far to the right, so at least this oops made my point). And once when she started after stopping to look at something and was in reverse, not drive; we flew backwards. Thankfully no-one was behind us.

Being a beginner is messy, isn’t it. Does this remind you of your early days on the field? Figuring our shopping or traffic or living with new teammates?

Being a beginner can also be exciting. But . . . want to guess the most uttered phrase out of her mouth on the first day?

“I’m sorry!!”

When she accelerated a little too fast or stopped w-a-y behind a stop sign or took a corner like a race car driver.

“I’m sorry!”

She was apologizing for not knowing how to drive. But how could she know?! She’s a beginner. I reassured her that she didn’t need to apologize for not knowing how to drive.

As we puttered around, I thought, “What a shame we live in a world of experts.” Where are the beginners? Where is the permission to not know? Where is the freedom to try things? 

You have permission to be a beginner.

You do not need to be the best teammate, support raiser, child educator, faith sharer, or language learner you can be right out of the gate . . . just be in process. At any stage of life, parts of you are going to be a beginner. 

With that in mind, Global Trellis is launching our next course for people in their first year on the field. Making the Most runs from September 2020 to June 2021 and is open to anyone who moved or is moving to the field in the year 2020.

Sometimes you need to find a place where you can let your guard down without watching eyes—even if your teammates and local friends are wonderful.

Want to know the second most uttered phrase out of Anna’s mouth?

“You have nerves of steel.”

Ha! Thank you Asian traffic for helping me not wince. But the truth I love her and do not want her to feel bad that she’s a beginner or embarrassed that she doesn’t know more than she knows. I want her (and you and me) to sense the joy of learning.

You have permission at any stage of your time on the field to be a beginner. So I ask again, where is God inviting you to be a beginner?

It’s awkward to be a beginner, but it also can be fun. I bet you have nerves of steel too :)! 

Know anyone who is newly arrived on the field or soon to arrive? Let them know about “Making the Most.” And be kind to yourself where you are a beginner . . . it will get better!


Part of this post first appeared in a Global Trellis mailing.

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About Amy Young

Amy Young wants to help people find the sweet spot between burn out and rust out with ongoing personal and professional development. Founder of Global Trellis, co-founder of Velvet Ashes, she personally blogs at Messy Middle, and is the author of four books (Looming TransitionsLove, AmyEnjoying Newsletters, and GettingStarted. You too can live in your sweet spot.

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