If you’d love to learn a new skill like a language or playing a musical instrument or some computer proficiency but are struggling to find the time, motivation, or staying power, there are plenty of things you can do to combat these barriers. The author has put together a few simple tips that can help you overcome these barriers and make you successful in your pursuit of a new skill. Review the extract below and see if any of the suggestions really help you with it. Team RetyrSmart
Getting over what’s holding you back from learning a new skill
Identify what’s holding you back
Exploring your feelings around learning a new skill can be a good starting point to uncovering what may be unconsciously affecting your overall sense of wellbeing, as well as your work/life balance. Just jot down all of the reasons why you want to try and learn this skill.Then take a moment to think of all of the reasons why you haven’t already begun. Stress, time, money, being unsure of where to start or whatever it is. Once you have these all in one place, you can begin working out a sustainable way to ease these pressure points and create an action plan you can commit to.
Put yourself first
Let’s be honest here: how often do we really put ourselves first? Families, friends, colleagues, responsibilities – there’s always something topping our list, pushing our own wants, needs and desires to the bottom of our to-do list. It’s time we changed that.
If you struggle to make your own needs a priority, have low self-confidence, or struggle with low self-esteem, there are a number of different professionals you can work with to help combat these feelings. Talking therapy can be a positive, safe space to explore why you feel this way, and how you can challenge negative ways of thinking.
Think long-term, not quick-fix
When faced with the choice of a long-term gain or instant gratification, many of us will pick the quick fix without a second thought. Reframing your thinking could be the way to go. Instead of focusing on the short-term benefits and hurdles, try thinking of the long-term gains. Learning a new skill can be equally as challenging as it can be exciting, but have you considered the possibilities that new skill could lead to?
Focus on giving, not getting
If learning a new skill feels too daunting, trying a more roundabout approach could be beneficial. Volunteering is not only a great way to give back to your local community while meeting new people, but can also help you to develop interpersonal skills, improve your teamwork, help you pick up new productivity and organisation tips – all whilst benefiting your mental health and wellbeing.
Ditch the perfectionist mentality
Try and reframe your goals. Instead of focusing on perfecting a skill, try and view it as taking up a hobby or increasing your social circle. By letting go of the pressure that can come with developing new skills and working towards self-improvement, you can begin instead enjoying the experience, focusing on the relaxation and de-stressing elements and how they can benefit you.
Find freebies and skill shares
Money can be a huge barrier when it comes to increasing our knowledge, but it doesn’t have to be. Between free YouTube how-to’s, online platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, and Future Learn, picking up a new skill has never been easier. You can browse thousands of courses for free or a low monthly cost.
By starting off with free or low paid options, this can not only take off the pressure that paid pathways can have, but can also help you to feel more relaxed and open as you’re learning new things.
Don’t let fear hold you back
The fear of failure can seem much more demoralising than the promise of potential success. If you’re worried your fears are holding you back, a number of different techniques can help.
Hypnotherapy for anxiety can help you to identify the root cause of why you’re feeling this way, helping you to change your relationship with these fears.Mindfulness and meditation can both help you learn to focus on the moment, connecting your mind and body to the here and now to break negative thought patterns and disrupt cycles of fear or anxiety.
Make time, not excuses
A lack of time is a valid reason for many of us to not follow through and develop new skills. But it doesn’t have to be. By working with an experienced professional with an outside perspective, you can discover new ways to set milestones, recognise your achievements, and identify other areas you can improve to find the time to make impactful sustainable changes.
Upskill your stress relief
Picking up new skills can be a form of stress management in and of itself. Learning something new doesn’t always have to be about enhancing your career or looking for new ways to market your abilities. Consider developing a skill that can actively help boost your wellbeing.
Don’t get locked into a single skill path. Keep trying new things until you discover that one thing you can feel passionate about. Once you’ve found that spark of excitement, it’s easy to keep developing that skill for the better. Before you know it, you’ll be seeking out new skills you can feel just as inspired to try.