2 min read

Everybody struggles

Everybody struggles

Because if you aren't struggling at times, something's not right.

Think about it: if you're bathing in puppies and rainbows every day, you probably aren't stretching yourself much. It's sure nice to stay within the cozy confinements of your comfort zone, but let's be real: that's not where the growth happens. You know it. I know it. We all know it. If you want to master something difficult, it will be easier if you accept that until you get there, you'll probably suck.

Last week, I was struggling to get my head around all the different configuration files that are needed in a Python package for it to build when you install it. As is often the case with code, there are many ways of getting the same result. Which is good I guess, but also very, very confusing. In fact, after looking through a few of other people's projects on GitHub that had passed my (I'm sure very rigorous) filter for "reputable" and "likely to follow modern best practices", as well as a bazillion tutorials, the only conclusion I was able to reach was that there seems to be as many opinions on how to do things "the right way" as there are people having opinions.

Having spent a few hours in this manner, my project folder as empty as the coffee cup sitting precariously between my elbow and the edge of the desk, I realized my lack of progress on this specific task was in part due to wanting to configure everything perfectly from the start. And while perfectionism may sound like a good thing, it's limiting more often than it's helpful.

And so I settled for a configuration that seemed good enough for the time being, took a moment to reflect on all the things I'd learned over the course of the last few hours (a lot!), and resisted the urge to label myself as a failure based on this, in perspective, minor frustration.

Because it's okay to struggle, and it's okay to not already know the things you are trying to learn, and it's okay to suck as long as you remain kind to yourself and remember that it's all part of the journey.