How to Start Something New: Use the Newbie Mode!

NewbieSo, I’m just starting out (blog post #2, yay!), and as I’m a perfectionist (sigh) I often have to fight the tendency to make everything super-duper in order to do it “right” by my standards. That’s a good way to procrastinate endlessly. It really works, trust me on that. 🙂

I already addressed this a bit in my first blog post Good Enough is Really Good Enough.

Another good way to start something new is to embrace your newbie-ness.

As I was thinking about how to proceed in building this website I realised that I don’t know a lot of things yet. Then I had an idea:

Yippee, I’m still a newbie and I could use the newbie mode! And that’s a good thing, because you can make as many mistakes as you want, and nobody will judge you for that. 🙂

Just turn on the newbie mode and start!

What is the newbie mode?

It’s like when you were learning how to write. I don’t think you tried to be perfect when you were learning the alphabet.

It’s obvious that you’re going to make some mistakes, but everybody in the class will, and the teacher will encourage you to just continue. It’s not like you’re just learning to write, and the first thing your teacher wants you to do is an overview about various Shakespeare plays!

Or say you want to learn a new language. It’s obvious that your pronunciation will not be optimal in the beginning, but it sure will be fun to say those new words, because other people will also pronounce them in a weird way at first!

Sometimes you are the newbie, but you’re also the teacher at the same time, noticing your mistakes and correcting you. So don’t be harsh on yourself when you’re in newbie mode! Just be like a real, nice teacher to yourself who is helping and understanding and encouraging you.

Once, you also were a child and you were a newbie, and it was really OK. You already did it, but maybe you forgot how it works as you grew older.

Some people have no problems with starting new things, but often we want to be perfect, even when we’re just starting and learning.

The other part of being a newbie is excitement! You’re gonna be excited about new things, right? It’s your first day in “class” in a subject you really like (it’s not one of those dreadful classes you’re supposed to go, because now you’re the one who’s making the rules).

Where can you turn on your newbie mode?

It could even be a topic where you’re already quite good at, but maybe you’re somewhat stuck and are afraid to improve further, or you want to get a new perspective on certain aspects of your topic/hobby/whatever. Well, newbie mode to the rescue!

To sum it up:

  • You’re allowed to make many mistakes. In fact, it would be strange if you didn’t make any!
  • Make it obvious that you’re a newbie and that you’re just starting out or that you want to gain new perspectives on a topic.
  • It’s fun! Be excited about the new thing and the progress you’re making. Be proud of yourself, you’re learning/doing something new!

So, where can you turn on the newbie mode? I sure will use it how to find out how this blogging thing works. 🙂

About the Author Peter Huetz

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    great post Peter. i like it. you have motivated me to start without being perfect. thanks, looking for more pearls of wisdom.

    sanjay sharma, india

    • Peter Huetz says:

      Thanks, Sanjay! Keep it going, you can do it, too!

      • Debby Kaplan says:

        Hi Sanjay,
        I see your posts at Paulymathmc. Have you started a blog yet?
        Would love to read some. Just dive in…!
        It’s really great that Paul is starting a little community. I hope we can all help each other.


  • Debby Kaplan says:

    Great post and very apropo for me today. As some of you might know me from Paulymath Mentorship program I’m a fitness trainer and wellness coach. I recently had to start modifying my leg routines, going from heavy weight training to light, due to one of my hips that will need surgery soon. So I had to figure out new exercises and modifications. Everything one legged. So it was a lot of retraining my brain/muscle connections and proprioception. I had to take things much slower, almost no weight, and relearn movements, trying to target my glutes and hamstring muscles for today. This took patience.But even doing everything new and slow and no low weights I got the most burn I have gotten in a long time. And I’ll tell you m my legs were screaming and my butt was burning!

    But I kept telling myself that it was OK to not get it first try, or be good at it, and not have perfect form at first. Hard to say to yourself as a trainer. But i just had to put myself in ‘client’ mode for today. In fact I thought it would make a great post for my blog. And I’ll be doing tons of videos now on all these new ways to build leg and glute muscle and strength with minimal weights.
    It’s LOA coming into play again. I clicked on Paul’s video and read your comment, clicked on your link because your post resonated with me today, on the day that I had to be a newbie.
    Thanks for posting that. Just reconfirms to me even as a trainer that we are always in the learning mode and it’s OK to do the newbie dance.

    Keep writing….

    • Peter Huetz says:

      Wow, what a beautiful coincidence! Yes, even if you’re already an expert, it’s sometimes good or even necessary to be in client mode/newbie mode again. And I think it also can help to better understand a client who is training with you.

  • Debby Kaplan says:

    Hi Peter,
    How far is Austria from Belgium? I will be seeing a world class surgeon in Belgium in September for my hip surgery.

    • Peter Huetz says:

      Hi Debby,

      The distance from Austria to Belgium is about 700 km or 430 miles.

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