I hate not being perfect at something. Even something I’ve never done before. (Yes, I realize that’s ridiculous.) Something in my brain scolds me for making mistakes, tells me I’m not smart or capable, tells me I should walk away now before I embarrass myself.
Sometimes it’s interesting to try and trace this inner critic back to a specific person or circumstance (if you have ever done The Artist’s Way, you will know that this exercise can take pages and pages), but what I’ve been focusing on lately is how to mute the voice long enough to become competent at whatever I’m learning. Sometimes that’s hours, sometimes months.
Lately I’ve found that the most effective way of muting this inner critic who thinks I should magically be good at everything on the first try, is just to say “OK, thank you!” and move on. The way you would thank an annoying but well-meaning co-worker who gives you bad advice. Acknowledge the advice, then ignore it and keep doing things your own way.