I tend to be uncomfortable as a beginner. I feel awkward and discombobulated, as if I should somehow just know what to do in any given circumstance. But that's when I need instruction myself, and guidance and encouragement and inspiration. I used to think there was weakness in me if I didn't get it, whatever "it" was, instantaneously, and I would become frustrated and self absorbed.
But I've changed my mind. When I don't know, if I am not catching on, I must pay closer attention to the teacher before me. I need to leave my pride alone and open my ears and my instincts to receive the learning that is being offered. It is up to the one who is teaching me to creatively instruct, to break it down in smaller steps until I understand. There is no pressure, not on me to learn, or the other to teach... only a mutual effort in the direction of clear communication between us.
When I am learning something new, it is not really about me. It's not a test for me to catch on asap and become an instant expert, and it's not about how perfectly I perform. It is about the other person, the teacher, and his willingness to share. It's about appreciating the experience and knowledge that is so different from my own, and expressing gratitude that this experience should be shared with me.
I will pay attention to my teachers today, and be grateful for the gifts of their experience.