Do you feel like a failure in the kitchen? Are these some of your thoughts around cooking for yourself or others?
- I don’t know where to start.
- It won’t turn out right.
- The dish never looks like the picture in the book or online.
- Fear of being judged paralyses me from the beginning.
- I’ll just buy premade food, since whatever I make won’t be up to my guests’ standards
- I’ll ask someone else to do it even though I’d like to try.
- Let’s just go out and eat to avoid the stress.
- I hate cooking.
- I’m not as good a cook as my friends.
- I’m a perfectionist–it is hard or impossible to satisfy my expectations.
Maybe your cooking ability has been criticized by someone you hold important — and you’ve internalized it. Maybe you were told as a child that your help wasn’t needed and you took that as a sign that you weren’t good enough to help.
It’s common to lack confidence in the beginning but think about it– if you never went to culinary school, and your family never taught you, where would you learn? Especially if each time you cooked, you didn’t like your results.
Embrace your inner chef
First, try going easy on yourself. Gaining confidence is possible with gentle self-talk. Instead of fearing failure, which keeps us from trying new things or experimenting in the kitchen, remind yourself that not getting it perfect is part of the learning process.
Second, avoid comparison. Do you look at gorgeously curated plates on Instagram and feel like you don’t measure up? Feelings of never being good enough are common in the kitchen and in other areas of life.
Instead of saying “I can’t do this,” try “This is new to me, but I am willing to learn.”
Instead of saying “I’m a terrible cook,” try saying “I may not be a master chef yet, but I’m improving with each dish and giving it my all.”
“I always mess up,” can be redirected as “Things happen but I’ll learn from this and do better next time, all the while having fun and being proud of what I’ve accomplished.”
- Celebrate your victories
- Make it FUN
- Ask for feedback
- Consider a cooking class or coaching from me
- Build through practice – try simpler recipes building up to more complex dishes
Try to remember it’s more fun to have the experience than to be perfect!