Learning, an important part of achieving anything in your career, is not a straight line. It is up and down like a roller coaster.
Think about it. When you embark on a learning experience (taking on new tasks or clients, shifting your career path, moving to a new company), you enthusiastically start gathering information click by click (like the sound of the roller coaster car climbing the first hill).
At some point, you may pause and allow feelings of self-doubt to surface. Your inner talk may sound like “I doubt I can do this,” “I can’t make this work,” “this is too hard,” or “I don’t feel confident that I can do anything with this.”
These self-defeating thoughts are painful, and you plummet down the other side, feeling discouraged along the way. You decide you would rather struggle with what you know now than deal with the uncomfortable feelings of change.
Action – These eight suggestions may help you enjoy the full ride!
- Learn in small chunks – Gather new information and use it for a time. If it works for you, great. If not, learn something else.
- Spread out your learning – Avoid trying to master everything in one session.
- Talk to someone – Talking to someone who has mastered what you want to learn is encouraging. How long did it take you to learn it? Do you have any tips? What has learning this meant to your career?
- Give yourself a deadline – Deadlines provide incentives to help you complete what you want to learn.
- Take notes – Note taking helps you retain information.
- Be in the mood – Learning is easier when you feel good.
- Study the material more than once – Go through the material several times.
- Teach the material – Test how well you understand something by teaching it to someone else.