The British philosopher/theologian G.K. Chesterton once said that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. Chesterton meant this as a defense of the amateur or generalist over the specialist, but I want to take this thought down a bit of different path.
If something is worth doing it is worth doing badly, because only in doing it badly will you ever do it well. Do you want to learn how to test APIs? You will have to do it badly at first. You won’t be very good at it. But if it is worth doing, it is worth doing badly so that eventually you can get good at it. Do you want to learn programming or scripting? You aren’t going to be very good at it when you start, but if it really is something worth doing then isn’t that ok?
We don’t like doing things badly, but the world needs more people who are willing to not be very good at something. When we stop worrying about how we look and start embracing failure as the path to learning we can get somewhere with the things we want to learn and do.
So step out and doing something worth doing. Do it badly. Get better. Do it again and again. And don’t forget the point that Chesterton was originally making – sometimes it is in the mistakes and imperfections of the amateur ‘doing it badly’ that we get the most profoundly human insights and results. Don’t be afraid of the mistakes you will make. You might just change the world.