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Learning A New Skill

Learning a new skill is sometimes an exciting challenge and sometimes a stressful challenge, but its all about getting it in perspective and managing yourself.

One of the main things that will drive your success is your motivation to succeed – is this something that you really want to do or are you being forced into it by someone else?

If you really want to do it and can clearly understand the advantage to you personally or professionally then it’s more likely that you will succeed in a positive manner. If the skill is is something that you would not have necessarily wanted to do yourself then this could make motivation more of a challenge.

However the skill has to be learned , it needs to be done and its useful to reframing the task of learning the new skill in your own head. Think about why you have been asked to learn this new skill? What advantages does it bring to your workplace / department? What will happen if you do learn the new skill and what won’t happen if you don’t? If you can understand the advantages even if they are not immediately obvious to you through trying to understand the big picture this helps you in your motivation to succeed.

However it may well be that it’s not your motivation but your confidence in your ability to succeed, remember Henry Ford’s famous quote ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right!’. Therefore you must work on your limiting beliefs as to your ability to succeed. Ask yourself honestly do you have any real evidence that you can’t achieve this? Generally not, it’s most likely our own mental barriers! Then do you have any evidence that you can succeed? We all have successes; we sometimes just choose to forget them when we face adversity!

We are most likely to succeed when we completely buy into something, therefore take the initiative and research the best way to learn or the best teaching provider yourself, don’t let others do it for you, then it becomes their goal to get your to learn this task and whilst positive support should be accepted, it needs to be you that makes this happen, so that its your goal.

Break the task down into manageable chucks, write down your end result – start with the end in mind and then work through each of the stages to get there. Turn them into S. M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound). Look at each of these stages or mini goals and look at these as milestones and individual activities that get you towards your goal of success in achieving the new skill and approach them as though they were the final goal, congratulating yourself after each milestone – perhaps with a reward?

Find someone that is excellent at what you are trying to achieve and ask them about it. Both what they do and how they do it. It’s obviously important that you understand the actual things you have to do, but also what their belief is surrounding this task or skill, how it makes them feel when they undertake it. Understanding their motivation and belief surrounding the skill is key to understanding their success and help you reframe your belief about learning the task as a positive experience.

Good luck

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