**Notice: This blog contains one explicit/curse word as cited by external source**
Nautilus Counseling will be officially opening next week, and the Universe has once again transpired to provide me with just the right resource for the occasion. I recently discovered Brené Brown ’s podcast “Unlocking Us” and started with the very first episode. As is often the case, the beginning was a very good place to start.
Brené’s inaugural “Unlocking Us” podcast described the concept of “FFTs”, or “fucking first times”. These can also be called TFTs or “terrible first times” for non-cursing individuals. The name says it all – FFTs are situations that you have never before navigated. You have no context or prior experience to lean on in this specific domain, so it will require more effort and time to navigate. Brené relates this phenomena back to her own podcast launch amidst the COVID-19 pandemic; I relate mine to the imminent launch of my own business, especially the administrative and accounting pieces of it.
The concept of FFTs is helpful for three reasons:
- It names the experience
- It normalizes it
- It moderates expectations
Naming the experience helps to explain the chaos and uncertainty associated with this first-time experience, which allows one to normalize their messy reactions to the situation. It is natural to feel anxious, unorganized, or underprepared when in the midst of an FFT!
It is also natural, often imperative, to proceed with a series of trials and errors. Without prior experience to guide you, FFTs remind us that we may have hiccups and even failures along the way. This is the nature of an FFT. It is with these learning experiences that we navigate out of FFT territory and, eventually, what once was an FFT becomes well within one’s comfort zone.