Nothing in the world is worse than hesitating to do something that you want to do. The time between thinking about doing something and then actually doing it is a time filled with emptiness. The impact of this moment of inaction extends beyond itself; it is not simply time that’s lost but potentially even the result that we want the action to achieve. I began to think about the extent at which hesitating affects the outcomes of our actions when skateboarding (and failing) recently.
I started skateboarding in high school with my best friends at the time for the obvious reason – it was cool. Although I became used to the sensation of riding on the skateboard, I never ended up being able to muster the confidence to do tricks. When you’re trying to do an ollie, trying to pop it up and jumping can be really scary, especially when the board is in motion; you sacrifice your balance for just a split second to try and “jump” the board. In the end, I couldn’t figure what it was I was missing and stopped trying to do tricks for many years.
Trying to pick up skateboarding again, I now realize how detrimental hesitation really is. The moment you falter is the moment you fail. Now though, practicing a little bit every single day has let me gradually build up more and more confidence. In fact, this week, I was able to do rolling ollies (albeit very slow ones) for the first time ever. It’s an exhilarating feeling to be able to land squarely back onto the board after popping it up. While I’m still getting the hang of it, it’s reassuring to look back at the progress I’ve made leading up to this moment.
Ultimately, it seems that confidence combats hesitation. As long as you’re confident in doing something, whatever that something is will be easier to do. Unfortunately it really is easier said than done. I’ll probably need to practice much, much more.