So I went skiing for the FIRST time today!

Given that Sam and I are off skiing in less than three weeks, it was about time that I grabbed some lessons and so I headed off to our local outdoors activity centre to learn on their dry ski slopes early this afternoon.

I’m not going to lie – I was pretty nervous because I’m not a natural sportsperson. And I also hate the part of the experience that is ‘sucking’. I also happen to hate heights and am as challenged on my two feet as Bambi was on four!

But today was different. I got there a brand new skier – and I left an hour later; a skier who could get on and off a lift successfully. Who had migrated from the baby beginner slope to the real adult one. Who could turn successfully, stop successfully and who had a ‘beautiful snowplough’.

Now as much as I’d like to credit this to my clear natural skiing ability (HAHAHAHAHA) I think it’s actually the lessons that my business has taught me that has allowed me to feel good about the skills I learned today.

When I got to the lesson, I asked the instructor, ‘How can I be the best student for you today? How is it best for me to take feedback?’ She told me that I needed to listen to EXACTLY what she said – and do that. Not what I thought I ‘should’ do. So I did. I got on the slopes and listened to every instruction – and just DID what she said.

I rocked up to the lesson, the oldest beginner on the slope. Everyone else who was having 1:1 beginner lessons was 12 or younger. But I wasn’t bothered. I was there to learn – so I tried to forget that I was the ‘golden oldie’ of the day – and actually I didn’t fall over once… and learnt stuff a lot quicker than if I’d have let myself get in my own way/ worried about what tweens were thinking of my crappy ski skills!

3. I don’t EXPECT to perform in a certain way.
My ski instructor was lovely – and also a county champion. She’d been skiing for over 15 years and was incredibly fast, skilled and able to do ANYTHING.
Whilst I wished that I could make it look that easy, I didn’t put any expectation on myself to be the best skier in the world on my first lesson… And that made me a LOT prouder of all the things that I accomplished – and more excited about the skills that I’m still going to have to learn.

I could have beat myself up about the fact that I’m not on the biggest slope yet. Or that on two runs, I let myself lean back instead of forward and looked like a complete twit whizzing around trying to correct myself. But instead, I celebrated the fact that I was actually learning quicker. I was failing faster at certain things – and I left, the person who’d made the most improvement – despite being the oldest and the only one scared of a ski lift!

5. I’m okay with LEARNING
I couldn’t be as good as the ski instructor in one lesson. Or five. In fact, I doubt that I’ll ever have her skills on two planks of wood. But I’m okay with being a learner. I’m okay with NOT being the expert right away – and taking the time to really listen (and implement) the instructions that I’m being given by a real expert.
It’s okay to be a learner. It’s okay to admit you don’t know it all. And it makes you better, faster.

What business skills do YOU have that are useful in other areas?