I used to think that whatever skills I had, were all I would ever have and that I was born with them and used to admire and look up to people in the fields of things I couldn't do as if they were aliens or as if they were magic creatures blessed with all these skills since birth, but now I know that anyone who is successful at what they do, started off as a complete beginner with 0 experience of the things they are now master of and I find this not only eye opening, but very inspiring too.
If I want to become better at anything, I can do it with enough consistency and willingness to fail. I bet there are loads of skills in your 'one day maybe' list that never actually happen, maybe to learn a new language, learn to create better conversations, learn to use Photoshop, learn a martial art, learn an instrument, learn how make people like you or some other generic thing that you never actually intend on getting stuck into. There is a key factor that holds us back...and this is failure. People are scared to fail like their lives depend on it and because of this, they let their fear cripple them into never learning, failing and improving and because of this, they never learn anything new and they fall into the ever-growing pool of people with nothing the set them out from the crowd. Be different, learn something new and set yourself out from the rest - and doing so is much easier when you live with a...
You might hear me go on about the growth mindset quite often but its for good reason, the growth mindset is 1 mindset in a group of 2. The 2 mindsets are fixed and growth and a person with a fixed mindset thinks everything is fixed, their self worth, their skills, their ability and they fear failure because they don't want to seem incompetent to those watching on but the growth mindsetters are the successful people of the world, the athletes and the entrepreneurs of the world and basically anyone who makes a conscious effort to be growing at all times and one of the main characteristics of growth mindsetters is that they view failure as feedback to keep growing so the more they fail, the more they grow so this means that they are actively trying to push their limits, to keep failing and getting more information and experience and because of this, they make much more progress than the person who is scared of failing in case they look weak. Failure has such a negative feeling attached to it but if you can train yourself to love and adore failure, then your personal growth efforts are going to be boosted massively. It's not just about having a growth mindset, it's also important to have the right learning strategy in place.
The way we approach trying to learn something plays a fundamental roll in how much success we get doing so. Try and set up your plan and stick with it and be consistent. Download our GOAL SETTING WORKBOOK if you want to make your life much easier when setting a goal for learning a new skill, don't leave it to chance. Nothing is more frustrating than doubting what your doing and whether its working or not but on the other side of the coin, nothing feels better than progressing and feeling like you're improving at something because you are human after all, and humans are addicted to progress. A great base for your strategy is to do something (big or small) towards improving every single day (consistency is key) and to make sure your always stretching your comfort zone. Get around people who already master the skill you wish to possess. Want to become a better tennis player? Get around high quality tennis players and learn from them. Use people who are ahead of you on the path you wish to travel and have them cut your learning curve. Read books, get mentors, listen to material on the subject and don't be afraid to fail.
,Consistency / Daily work
Working on something everyday and not seeing results is super de-motivating but if you try and imagine that every time you practice or learn something new about the skill, you are planting a seed and although the seeds aren't flourishing yet, carry on planting them and before you know it, they will start flowering and before you know it, you can do it on autopilot. Think about when you started to drive, you got in the car and looked down and thought...3 pedals? I only have 2 feet. And the indicators, and I need to watch my speed and I need to check my mirrors etc, and before you know it, you are overwhelmed with everything but down the line, you've been driving daily and gradually becoming more and more natural at it and all of a sudden, you're driving whilst having conversations and not really paying full attention to the road. Human beings are amazing creatures and can adapt to do anything, but you must give it time. Don't expect to learn the guitar overnight, it's all the seeds that you plant everyday that creates your garden of results (you being able to play the guitar naturally and easily)
No failures – only feedback
You can train yourself to not even recognise failure as even existing, you can train yourself to view everything as feedback. Instead of 'failing' when you try to talk to a girl, you have found out another way that doesn't work and built up your experience in that area. Instead of 'failing' at playing an instrument, you've got feedback on a way that doesn't work. Keep getting feedback until you've mastered the skill, instead of beating yourself up every time you fail. Michael Jordan missed 1000s of shots over his career. David Beckham has missed 1000s of free kicks to get to the skill level he is at today. They needed to have all these 'failures' in the process to gain the feedback needed to become a 'master' at what they do. A great way to train yourself to have this mindset is to write down 3 failures in your life each day and then try and learn a valuable lesson from that failure and if you do this everyday, it's only a matter of time before your learning from your mistakes in every area of your life. Learn from your mistakes – and make as many 'mistakes' as you can to learn as much as possible. Simple. (I don't mean doing things you know don't work, but don't be afraid to do things you're unsure about or haven't tried before.
I can't put enough emphasis into how important this point is because it's a concept that not a lot of people are talking about, and that is how you have an identity for yourself related to a skill. Every time you've heard someone say 'I can't draw' or 'I'm not a creative person' or anything along these lines, they are labelling them self and giving them self a negative identity and this sets you up to fail from the start. Someone who labels themselves as someone who 'can't draw' is going to a lot less likely to put in the time needed to become a skilled drawer than someone who goes into it thinking 'i'm not skilled at drawing, yet' because the second person knows that if they stick with it for long enough and keep practising and learning what does and doesn't work, that they will improve at drawing. Stop limiting yourself and saying you can't do something because no, you can't do anything with that attitude. Give yourself the identity of someone who can learn anything if they put their mind to it and try it. Each time you perform an action, you build up your belief in this identity and it becomes stronger and stronger. An example of this would be someone who sees themselves as 'not being able to play to guitar' – they finally pick up the guitar and can't do it straight away so they start saying 'see, I told you couldn't do it' & 'see, I told you that you weren't a good guitar player' and then they put the guitar down, disheartened with their negative belief/identity re-enforced. Whereas the other person, the 'growth mindsetter' goes into thinking, I'm not skilled at the guitar yet but if I keep practicing then I will slowly improve and they proceed to practice, knowing that they're not going Jimi Hendrix straight away. They can't do it straight away but they soon start to work out the basics and what does and doesn't work thanks to all the feedback from their failure and they put the guitar down, happy with the progress and excited to come back and learn a little bit more. Their belief of 'I can learn anything' has been re-enforced, they are happy their confidence has gone up. Winner.
Belief > Action > Results
Because of the belief that they can't do it, they never put in the work and because they never put the action in, they never see results. This is the equation and it can work for or against you.
BELEIF > ACTION > RESULTS = POSITIVE BELIEF IS BACKED UP
NEGATIVE BELEIF > NO ACTION > NO RESULTS > NEGATIVE BELIEF IS BACKED UP.
Once you start learning skills that you once thought impossible, it opens up the world to you and becomes a really inspiring force in your life. I once believed I could never get a girlfriend, never be able to drive, never be able to be confident with strangers, never be able to write life-changing content...but here I am! Start of easy and build up your confidence and your empowering beliefs and you can start to take on more and more advanced and complex skills. A few of the skills I want to learn is to be able to change any persons mood at any time, to be able to speak in front of big crowds confidently, to save and make more money and to learn to play the keyboard, and I am dipping my feet in the water with all of them and it won't be long before I'm smashing all of them. Whats a skill you want to learn that will improve your life?
Break the goal/skill down
Break whatever your learning down into manageable chunks. Make it easy for yourself. For example, take my goal of learning the keyboard for example, if you were to break this down, you could dedicate 15 minutes everyday to just general practice, you could promise yourself to watch 2 youtube tutorials everyday and you could download some of your favourite music from this genre to inspire you. Doing this everyday would lead to incredible results down the line as consistent practice leads to impressive results. (Planting them seeds daily)
"REPETITION IS THE MOTHER OF ALL SKILLS"
Enjoy the process vs Outcome Dependacy
It shouldn't feel like a punishment to learn a new skill, you should be excited and motivated to learn it and a great way to do this is to focus on enjoy the process as much as possible because if you're passionate and enjoy what you're doing then you're going to excel much quicker than if you feel like you
A) Have no chance of succeeding
B) Doing because have to...for whatever reason.
Learn to love the process and the outcome takes care of itself. Only care about the outcome and you get pissed off when you're not there yet and give up, ironically never actually getting the outcome you were aiming for. Make lists of reasons why you love the task and reasons why it excites you and you will train your brain to focus on the reasons of passion and excitement. Make this easy for yourself and download our PRE SESSION TEMPLATE for free.
You only lose when you quit
Learning a skill is NOT an overnight process and there will be times you feel like giving up or you feel like you're not making progress or you feel like you've lost but don't quit, you only lose when you quit. Remember, repetition is the mother of all skill so keep repeating that practice until you're where you want to be. I believe in you. Actually, no, I KNOW you can do it. If you have any problems or questions or want some advice, please don't hesitate to email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on this post.
As always, we like to leave you with an action plan as knowledge isn't power until it's acted on...
- Start developing a growth mindset in every area of your life. Write down ways to you can strengthen your growth mindset
- Download our FREE GOAL SETTING WORKBOOK
- Start today, choose a skill you want to learn, choose your strategy for learning and start failing forward.