Can’t do it? The trick to learning new stuff easily

You know what it’s like when you learn something new. Might be exciting. Might be scary. It will almost certainly be uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing when you start out. You may think: I can’t do it/ it’s not worth it/ I never really wanted to do it anyway

I used to be like that about learning dance steps. My partner wanted to do Latin and ballroom classes. I agreed while knowing that learning dance steps is not something that comes easily to me (or him as it turns out!). I generally go the wrong way and can’t remember more than 3 things at a time.
It’s so easy to go to that place:

  1. I feel stupid
  2. I must look stupid
  3. Better give up then

So here’s the good news: because of the brain’s ability to change as you take it in different directions – as long as you continue to take it in that direction – it can learn to go that way. As long as we don’t give up. This is brain plasticity.

Some of us will take longer than others to learn. And that’s ok.
We can say to ourselves:

  1. I feel stupid
  2. That’s ok I’m just learning
  3. I will get there in my own time

I still enjoy learning to dance and I still do it slowly. What I did notice though is that when I came back from 3 months working in New Zealand (where I had to learn a lot in a short time) I started to learn faster.
My brain had been so busy learning that it got better at learning unrelated things too.
So don’t give up. Risk looking/feeling stupid for a bit and get loads more out of your life.

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