Bad is the New Good

December 17, 2012 by John Andrew Williams

I was listening to a new choir sing. They were terrible. And I LOVED it.

Seriously. I was in love with this choir hitting sharp notes.

In an age when it’s easy to download and listen to amazing singers singing perfectly in key, it was refreshing to hear something a little off.

As I reflected on it, I thought about how fear of being bad stops so many people.

In January, I’m going to face a super big fear. I’m going to take a stand-up comedy class. I know I’m going to be terrible. I know that I’m going to be bad. (Maybe if I get enough comments below, I’ll post a video of my first couple jokes.)

Nine years ago I took my first life coaching course and had my first practice life coaching session. It was terrible. It was so bad, the phone got disconnected in our conversation. After 20 minutes of excruciating coaching, not knowing what to say, not knowing what direction to go, desperately trying to find a problem to solve so that I could feel that life coaching had some worth, I think she hung up.

I spend the next 5 minutes in equal agony thinking that the session was over. The phones aren’t working. My career as a Life Coach started and ended with a quick 20 minute, fumbling conversation.

Then she called back. We coached for another 20 minutes. It was actually OK. Not great, but OK.

Somewhere along those 5 minutes I got over the fact that I was new and terrible, and I relaxed a little bit and didn’t take myself so seriously.

Nine years later – and nearly 2700 coaching hours later – I know I’m a solid Life Coach. I have a ton of confidence working with what maybe the most challenging population ever: teenagers.

When I tell people that I’m a Life Coach for teens, I get one of two reactions. A quizzical look like I’m crazy. Or a sympathetic look like that we’re saints for wading into tough waters.

For all the new Life Coaches who are working with teens, for all the parents who are learning how to deal with their own teenagers, for all the teenagers who are learning how to deal with growing up, I hope you can take some solace in…

BAD is the new good.

Seriously. We are living in an age when it’s easy to download something sung in a perfect key. The real value and what people are craving is authenticity. It’s the guts to try something new and be open to failing miserably and try again that truly creates long-term value and success beyond your wildest imagination.

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