“117,563.”

My Spanish teacher showed me this number for the fourth time…

“Cientos mil diez y siete… FUCK!”

I put my palm to my face out of frustration…I couldn’t get these big numbers right.

I’ve been in Medellin, Colombia for the past few weeks (and I’m moving to Spain in October), so learning Spanish is a priority.

(Very few people here speak English)

And so is learning salsa. Because, you know, I don’t want to dance like a fucking gringo.

So, I’m doing an hour a day of one-on-one Spanish lessons, and a few hours a week of salsa…

And both are extremely uncomfortable, and often frustrating.

I feel like I can’t move my body the right way for salsa (gringo legs?), and I still can’t roll my “r’s” when speaking Spanish.

Sometimes, it kinda sucks doing these things. Mostly because I feel like I suck at them, and that’s a pretty uncomfortable feeling. I’m not used to sucking at things so badly.

Back in Boston, I had a nice routine of doing things I was good at…

Writing, playing sports, working out, networking, dating, etc.

There weren’t many times I felt uncomfortable. And I think this made me slightly cocky..

But here in Medellin, it’s like I’ve gotten bitch-slapped with humbleness.

By forcing myself to do things I suck at, life has sent me strong message, loud and clear…

“YOU’RE NOT AS GREAT AS YOU THINK YOU ARE.”

In other words, it’s a big reminder that, even though I’ve come a long way, I still have a lot of work to do in many areas…

And there’s always room for improvement.

It’s a bit refreshing, and something that a lot of us miss.

We do the same shit every day, and just sort of go through the motions of life. Get stressed, get angry, whatever… But working on something you suck at can bring you alive again. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it forces you to step out of your comfort zone.

So I encourage you to try something new and challenging..

Learn a language, learn to dance, learn a new sport, learn a new skill..

It will force you to grow, and reinforce the message that you CAN get good at something if you work at it enough.

And this is a crucial message for destroying the feeling of “helplessness” that can sometime creep into our minds when we’re feeling stressed or worried.