We all struggle sometimes to learn a new skill and often we feel like we’ve failed despite our best efforts. This feeling is made worse when we look at the people around us or in the media who do seem to succeed at everything and make it look effortless in the bargain.
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Is it that easy, though? Let’s have a look at the two key requirements to get good at a new skill. Follow this advice and before you know it, you’ll be the person people think gets everything done without any effort.
Occasionally someone around you will do something so well, so effortlessly you’ll be stunned by it. You’ll find yourself wondering why you can’t do that quite the same way. Chances are, however, they will have had lots and lots of practice. Practice, after all, makes perfect and you need to fail a bunch of times before you can get good at anything.
Tennis champions weren’t born with the ability to win tennis matches; they must have swung and missed millions of tennis balls before they were able to hit any of them. Then, likely, after not hitting another million particularly well, they were able to put some proper force and control into their swings. Then, after another million, they’re standing on the podium of a Grand Slam tournament with a trophy in their hands.
The lesson is that, no matter the odds, if you stick with it you’ll get better at it. Want to be a writer? Write something, doesn’t matter what; even shopping lists are practice. Want to learn how to cook? Grab a pan and make an omelet; if it’s inedible just throw it away and make another one. Just keep doing it.
2. Have Faith In Yourself
Perseverance is difficult if you think you’ll fail anyway, no matter what you do. You need to have some faith in yourself before you get started and often it’s hard to feel good about yourself when nothing works out, which brings us back to why it doesn’t work out in the first place.
It’s a vicious circle and all it does is bring you down. You need perseverance to gain self-esteem; you need self-esteem to stick with stuff.
Fact is though, there’s plenty of reason to feel good about yourself and everybody is good at least one thing. To find out what you’re good at, you’re going to have to sit down somewhere quiet, take on a relaxed pose and breathe. Count your breaths until you start to relax, then start slowly thinking about skills you possess.
Maybe in school you did really well on an essay once; you’re a good writer. Nobody in your family can cook omelets like you; you’re a good cook. After doing this for a short while, you can add another skill: you’re good at meditating.
It doesn’t need to be skills that make you feel good about yourself, of course. Maybe you’re the person people go to when they need advice. Maybe you’re the one person who people feel they can trust. It could be you’re the one person at your job who shows up on time. Thing is, there’s always reason to feel good about yourself, you just need to find it. Meditation helps with this.
If you find it hard to learn new skills try the meditation exercise outlined above. It will help you focus and feel better at yourself, which will in turn make you more likely to persevere and master what you want to learn. The road is never easy, but if you stick with it, you can do anything successfully!