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We all love a good blooper, except when it’s our own. Why is it that we can’t laugh at or embrace our mistakes? This post is about a recipe-turned-blooper, and some of the lessons I learned from it.
Bloopers: ours vs. theirs
It’s so easy to watch other people’s bloopers. To watch them stumble and fall makes us laugh and reminds us that it’s ok to be human. We get amusement from other people’s blunders all the time! Bloopers are funny because they’re relate-able. They aren’t meant to be taken seriously, and most importantly don’t signal the end of the world. It’s ok to get enjoyment out of bloopers, especially our own!
But why is it that we have so much trouble openly talking about or laughing at our own bloopers? Why do we take ourselves so seriously? Is it fear of being judged, ridiculed or made to feel inadequate? These are things we should be asking ourselves. Why are we so uncomfortable with our own failures when failing is a part of life?
Looks can be deceiving
Just to put things into perspective: people will always share their successes over their failures. That’s a no-brainer. Behind every beautiful photo that you see on the internet, there’s a hundred not-so good ones. No one posts work that they’re not proud of, self included!
I’ll be the first to say that not succeeding at something on the first or second try is really discouraging. But it shouldn’t be. Very few, if any people are masters of anything out of the gate.
I felt the need to write and share this story with you because I too get discouraged when things don’t go as expected. We live in a world where we feel like we have to appear perfect at all times, and we beat ourselves up when we don’t. We’re terrified of being judged (especially on the internet!) and we’re scared to reveal our mistakes and flaws. We feel like we need to erase any and all past efforts that weren’t successful.
Life shouldn’t be like that, and it’s not fair to put that type of pressure on ourselves or others. Period. With so much information and advice out there about what you should and shouldn’t do, we start to think that we can somehow bypass learning and natural progression and go straight to the top. Lies.
Back to the fudge
When I wrote this recipe, I was so excited about the idea of a Neopolitan-inspired dessert in time for Valentine’s Day. What could taste better and look prettier than layers of chocolate, coconut and strawberry?
I thought this recipe would be super-easy to pull off. Wrong. The chocolate and coconut layers came out fine, but the strawberry layer was a mess. It was way too sticky and got stuck to the parchment paper. It was discouraging, but I thought it would be easy enough to tweak and re-make. Wrong again! The second batch’s chocolate layer was just as sticky!
Practice and let go of expectations
What was I going to do with this all this frigging fudge?! The colors still looked nice so the only thing I could think to do was practice taking pictures for whenever I got around to fixing the recipe. This was the day that I was determined to make something good out of something bad, and learn to take better photos. I had just spent close to 6 hours assembling this fudge and waiting for it to set. I refused to throw all that time and effort into the garbage!
Since I had purchased my DSLR camera, I had never taken it off of auto-mode because learning the settings on my camera seemed so intimidating. Since I initially had no intention of ever posting these photos, it took some of the edge off of exploring my camera’s manual settings.
I’d recently been reading about apertures, natural light, exposure times and photo composition. It all seemed very daunting! It didn’t seem as scary though without the expectation of having a beautiful finished product at the end. My goal for the day shifted from having a finished recipe to practicing and learning a new skill. I had no expectations around these practice photos whatsoever. I was fully committed to learning and trusting in the process.
Trust the process
Looking at the final photos, I’m in love. Sure, the fudge itself isn’t perfect but the time and attention that I put into learning sets these photos apart from the other ones on my site. These photos represent what learning and completely trusting in the process looks like. Some of our best work happens when we are free from expectation and feel comfortable that no one else is watching or judging.
I know it can get discouraging to not get an immediate reward when we commit ourselves to something. You’re going to have bloopers, crappy photos, failed recipes and sticky fudge!
I want to remind you that no matter where you’re at in your journey, embrace your bloopers. Learn from them. Keep going, keep practicing and please continue to trust yourselves as well as the process. It’s normal to look back on your early work and cringe. It shows progression.
Nobody starts off knowing everything. Very few people become masters early on. Don’t let fear of not being “good” or perfect stop you. Let yourself learn, grow, be judged and make mistakes. It builds character, and it builds experience; two things that no one can take from you.
I’ll get this F’ing fudge right eventually!