Overcoming the Fear of Learning
Have you ever tried to learn a new skill? It can be daunting sometimes, especially when the skill is complicated such as learning a new language, learning how to code, or how to assemble a machine.
Even the best of us feel that nervous energy building up. We question our capacity to unravel the new knowledge before us and sometimes want to relent and just go back to something more familiar; something less complicated.
However, learning doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if we approach it with the right attitude and an open mind that soaks new information like a sponge.
I have learned new and complicated skills in my life, and over time I have realized certain things that consistently work together to help me overcome that nervousness or fear of learning that would normally want to keep me from exploring new concepts.
- Believe you can. One time, I worked at a travel agency and needed to learn how to use the booking platforms Galileo and Amadeus to write the code for booking flights. My initial thoughts were “Oh no! Coding? Will I remember the many codes needed for booking different tickets? What if I make costly mistakes?”
But I was quick to stop these thoughts from blossoming into full blown fear that could keep me from learning. I simply said to myself, if others could do it, I too can. With this mindset I learned to use the platforms, and quickly too.
- Get hands-on with the learning as quickly as possible. If you’re learning a language, speak it. If you’re learning to sew, get on a machine and start turning that pedal quickly. Whatever skill you are learning, the faster you start to use the knowledge you are gaining the faster you will overcome inertia and build necessary momentum to fuel your quest for even more knowledge.
- Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice makes perfect, it’s true. There is no shortcut to attaining and perfecting knowledge. The people who we celebrate to day for their exceptional skills in any field of endeavor got to that peak through practice. It is no different for anyone who desires to acquire and master a skill. Practice to perfect what you know.
- Teach others what you know. Research has shown that if you can explain a concept to others in a manner that they can understand and apply then you have fully grasped the concept yourself. Where you may not be able to teach others, document your knowledge as this helps you to articulate what you know and deepens your understanding of the subject matter. Documenting knowledge could be as simple as jotting key points in a pocketbook or uploading full-fledged documents to the cloud for future reference.