Rediscover the enthusiasm of a beginner
Perhaps you have to learn a new discipline or embark on a project that’s entirely new to you. Sound scary? In fact, taking on a new profession, sport, or hobby – and assuming the position of a beginner – is a rewarding and satisfying experience. Here’s how to capitalize on it.
Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning
(Atlantic Books, January 2021).
1. Make the most of a lack of pressure
When you’re starting out, you have a great sense of freedom. You don’t have expectations to meet since the discipline is completely new to you. And if you don’t know anything about it, then there’s just a field of possibilities.
- Forget about impostor syndrome. You don’t have anything to prove. You’re allowed to make all the mistakes a beginner makes. These mistakes will only speed up your learning process if you analyze them with an expert.
- Focus on the process rather than the outcome. Focusing on the outcome, and – worse still – comparing it to others is too daunting at the beginner stage. In addition, you’ll progress less quickly. Instead, zero in on the process, hone your approach, and the results will follow.
- Record your beginnings. Use your fresh perspective to jot down everything that surprises you and piques your curiosity, as well as your trials and errors. As you make progress, you’ll lose this ability to notice what is new.
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