Confidence comes from practice, not preparation

Recently I got into card tricks.

No, I don’t want to be a magician. And trust me this has everything to do with confidence.

I find that playing with cards help me focus. In a way, it’s like a fidget toy; like a fidget spinner, except it’s actually cool. 😉

It looks super cool as well! Check out this video on one-handed shuffle:

If you haven’t got any experience in card handling (or as they call it, card flourishes), this might seem difficult, intimating, or downright impossible!

At least that’s how I felt 2 days ago.

Hell, I have difficulties shuffling with both of my hands, let alone one!

Anyway, I decided to give it a go.

Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t do it, not even once. I spent a good 20 minutes of watching tutorials and trying to do it until my hands were sore.

I felt overwhelmed, intimidated, and honestly a tiny bit inadequate.

Somehow the conclusion my brain drew from that was that I must be missing some key pieces of the puzzle; maybe the tutorials were teaching me the bad methods or methods not suitable for my hand size or shape.

Looking back I was delusional, a little bit, or like a lot.

So for the next hour, I searched for more tutorials and guides on one-handed shuffles. I thought watching more tutorials and finding out the perfect method is key to my success in becoming an impressive one-hand shuffler. But if I still didn’t succeed, soon enough I will lose all the confidence in achieving this and never try again in a long time.

More time passed by, I still couldn’t do it. I failed to find what key information or secret I missed that kept me from success.

It’s super frustrating as you can see haha.

At this point, only 2 hours later, it was clear to me that there isn’t a silver bullet, and maybe I just needed to practice more. Of course, my confidence level was staying low, but I tried to not let it affect me as much.

So over the 3 hours after that realization, I’d just kept on doing the same motions over and over again while watching other unrelated videos or thinking about other things.

Each time I failed, I had to actively fight against the negative feelings inching to chip away at my self-confidence and self-worth.

5 hours later, this was my result:

Yay! I had done it! It’s not perfect, but I was satisfied.

And it only took my one entire afternoon to learn this skill that’s useless to me.

How anti-climatic…

Well, guess what, success is boring.

Success in life, no matter how big or small, usually involves doing or practicing something many times repetitively.

It’s not like in the movies where 3 montages later I could go from a total newbie to a master of the trade.

And the lesson I learned from this is that success, and ultimately confidence and self-worth, come from practice.

It doesn’t matter how much time I spent preparing, learning about the science behind card shuffling, watching tutorials on how other people do it, or visualizing what success looks like. If I didn’t practice and persistently keep on practicing, I would not have achieve any result at all.

So the moral of the story is: learn the one-handed card shuffle, it’s fun. Don’t be intimidated by seemingly hard things and don’t get yourself stuck in the preparation phase.

Just do it, and keep doing it.

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