The Courage to Be Bad at Something

Gerald Hodges was a very talented athlete in middle school. He played basketball, football and soccer for most of his younger years. However, when he entered high school, he decided to join the swim team. There was just one problem. He could not swim. Why, you might ask, did he decide to do this? His response:

“If I couldn’t handle not being good at something than how could I consider myself a successful person?”

Four years later, Gerald learned to be a decent swimmer. He and his team had improved greatly. In a regional meet, he anchored a relay team and he managed to bring the team in for a second place finish. This was good enough to qualify for the state meet.

Joe’s Perspective: How many kids don’t want to try something new simply because they don’t want to embarrass themselves? Or they don’t want to struggle? A lot. Now, here is Gerald who goes out of his way to try something new because he is lousy at it. He had the courage to challenge himself. And, by challenging himself now, he has built up the courage to challenge himself again and again and again.  This is the type of kid who will start several companies in his lifetime and eventually find a way to make at least one of them successful. I say good for him.

Your Turn: What lessons do we learn from Gerald’s story?

Comments 40

  1. Gerald’s story showed me that it’s ok to mess up and be embarrassed. Sometimes I back down from situations or opportunities in my everyday life because I am afraid that I will embarrass myself and people will hold onto that forever. His courage to do what he wanted and not worry about what others think is what caught my attention the most, this has been something that I have been trying to overcome for a few years. So the lesson that I took away was; stop worrying what other people think of me.

  2. To exceed than what you think you have done. Don’t be scared to try something you have never done because you might come out with a win.

  3. no matter how hard anything is, you can always try to go for new things, and you may never know if you’re good at it unless you go for it

  4. I learned that it’s is okay to try new things and not be good at it because the more you work at it you will get better and have success.

  5. his story shows me to never let fear of something get in the way because challenges are meant to be expected in sports and to always have the courage to try something new

  6. It’s okay to fail, because success comes with failure and you shouldn’t be afraid of that. You should try new things and strive to be great

  7. You won’t know how something will turn out until you do it. Giving yourself the chance for something to turn out well instead of knocking it completely throws out all opportunities you could’ve gotten. Sometimes risks turn into your greatest successes.

  8. You won’t know how something will turn out until you do it. Giving yourself the chance for something to turn out well instead of knocking it completely throws out all opportunities you could’ve gotten. Sometimes risks turn into your greatest successes.

  9. With help of his story, I learned how it’s important to go trough all fears, uncertainty, feeling to be embarrassed still reach your goal.

  10. With help of his story, I learned how it’s important to go trough all fears, uncertainty, feeling to be embarrassed. Of course it’s gonna be difficult at the beginning and at the middle of your way you will get more more struggles and wish to give up, but if you overcome this, than you reach your goal.

  11. It’s ok to try new things in life even though it hard or you are not good at it just keep working and just have fun with it.

  12. Its okay to be bad at something, dont let your pride stop you from doing a new thing. No one is magically made an olympian or D1 athlete, there is a starting point for everyone.

  13. Its okay to be bad at something, dont let your pride stop you from doing a new thing. No one is magically made an olympian or D1 athlete, there is a starting point for everyone. Try new things and dont be embarrassed.

  14. The lesson we can learn is to always try new things and to not fear failure. To be a successful person, you need to fail. Being embarrassed is good because it is good to be uncomfortable so you can become comfortable being uncomfortable. Also, if you do not try new things, you will never know if you are good at it.

  15. The lesson we can learn is to always try
    new things and to not fear failure. To be a
    successful person, you need to fail. Being
    embarrassed is good because it is good
    to be uncomfortable so you can become
    comfortable being uncomfortable. Also, if
    you do not try new things, you will never
    know if you are good at it.

  16. Strive to do your best, don’t quit on your dreams, try new things and work hard. Try new things and don’t give up on them too soon if you don’t like it in that moment.

  17. I learned that it is ok to not be doing great when trying new things. The thing is you learn from the challenge and you strive and get the hustle to work and do better at the obstacles. This isn’t just in sports but in life and it’s always great to try new things.

  18. I learned that in order to feel true success you have to at least try to be good at a weakness and try new things that don’t make you feel comfortable.

  19. Gerald’s story showed me that trying new things isn’t going to be easy nor will you always be good at it. When you try something new it’s always going to get worse before it gets better.

  20. His lesson taught me that to be good at something you have to be bad first and to not be embarrassed as long as you are trying your hardest.

  21. To try new things and work hard in them because you never know if you will really love it and be good at it

  22. Don’t be afraid to do something new. It may be hard at first but you never know if you don’t try it

  23. Try new things even if your not sure of it. Push yourself harder, make step by step goals. Don’t give up on your dreams.

  24. I learned that trying new things is not always so scary; you may find something you are really good at. I also learned that I can always strive to do better in anything I put my mind to.

  25. Always keep moving forward no matter what, and if people tell you something otherwise, just shut or block them out because those types are people are only keeping you from trying something new or working on those particular set goals you want or have in life.

  26. That just because you don’t get everything the first time doesn’t mean that your not good at it. It just means that you need to practice and the more you do that the better you get.

  27. Its okay to not be good at something right away, you are going to fail, but it will make you stronger as well.

  28. So Geralds lesson teaches me that if you are willing to not care what people think and swallow your pride you can apply yourself and pick up a skill you once didn’t have.

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