Life is a series of challenges and new adventures. Just as soon as we learn one thing it seems that we are having to learn something else.
Though we certainly don’t know what will happen in the future we can be sure of one thing, change is coming. We will always be in the process of learning new things. We don’t have to be fearful when it comes to learning anything new.
Here is a simple way to learn anything new in 6 easy steps.
Step 1. Have an “I can do this attitude.” It is easy to mentally play our failures over and over again as a reminder of all that “we cannot do.” Don’t allow the movie of past failures to paralyze you today.
Tell your “inner critic” you don’t want to hear what he has to say. This step is important because there is a voice in all of us that does not want what is best for us. This inner critic reminds us of what we can’t do and all our past failures.
INSTEAD, focus on your previous victories.
Focus on your successes. Reminding yourself of what you have done right is far better than dwelling on what you have done wrong. Don’t allow the “I can’t do that attitude” to enter your thought processes.
Step 2. Don’t expect perfection. No one ever does a task perfectly the first time they try and you are not the exception. Michael Jordan did not start in basketball by setting the court on fire. He began by missing more shots than he made and learning to do what he could not do when he first started. Extend yourself grace in this process.
Don’t expect perfection, but do expect a gradual increase in your proficiency.
Step 3. Get help. Talk to someone who has already done what you are attempting. They will know things about the process that you have not thought about before.
Ask them, “What advice do you have for me since I am leaning to do _________?”
Have a pen and paper. Their advice will be priceless. This may require finding the right person to ask. If no one comes to mind ask a friend to help you find someone.
Step 4. Just do it. There is no substitute to doing it. Talking about it is not enough. Having an “I can do this attitude” is not enough. Planning is not enough.
At some point you have to just do the thing!
Often just the act of doing it will make your initial fears about the size of the task subside.
Step 5. Evaluate your progress. After you have been doing the new thing for a while… stop and evaluate. What is working and what is not? Am I doing ok at this or am I horrible? Why is that? The point of this step it to honestly evaluate your progress.
If you have a hard task you may need to divide it into smaller tasks. The more complex the behavior the greater the need to split it up into smaller steps. You don’t learn to hit a golf ball proficiently without learning grip, the position of the ball in your stance, follow through, and more.
Evaluate what you are doing in order to improve.
Step 6. Do it again. The art of learning anything new comes from…
Evaluating your progress, and
Doing it again.
Doing, followed by evaluation, keeps you from repeating the same mistakes without stopping to see how you can do it better. After you have evaluated what you need to improve, you will be better at the task.
Do it…, evaluate your actions… and do it again.
We don’t have to be stuck repeating the same mistakes. We can learn new habits and behaviors that will create a better life. When you follow the steps outlined above, learning something new will be no problem. Over time you will begin to enjoy the challenge of new things.
Have an “I can do this attitude.” Don’t expect perfection. Ask for help if you need it. After a while evaluate how you are doing, and do it again. Before long you will learn the new behavior.
Don’t back down. Step up to the challenge and do it.