So how do we learn? Sometimes there can be a few things that stand in between us, and our learning.
Become Overwhelmed | The more you learn, the more you see there is to learn. The beginner doesn’t know how much there is to study, but as you start to explore, you find new caverns, and they are immense. Then as you explore those caverns, you find even bigger ones. It can become overwhelming, and lots of people eventually give up because of this feeling.
Failure feels bad | If you want to learn to play chess, you’ll lose a lot at first. Then, you get better, and still lose sometimes. It doesn’t matter how good you get, you will still lose sometimes. This happens not just with games, but with learning languages, physical skills, academic subjects – you’ll fail a lot. There are ways to set it up so that you rarely fail, but then you’re not really learning much.
It can feel like you’re just treading water | In a fantasy world, you’d learn at a breakneck pace, downloading new skills and knowledge into your brain like they do in the Matrix. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. You read and read, or practice and practice, and a lot of the time you barely get better. Other people seem to be learning at twice your speed! Sometimes it seems like you’re not learning anything and that can be really discouraging.
There’s always a strong feeling of uncertainty | Humans don’t like the feeling of uncertainty, for the most part. We avoid it, become afraid of it, get angry or frustrated. But when you try and learn a new skill, it’s almost all uncertainty. You constantly forget things, you don’t understand anything, or when you think you do understand, you try it and it turns out you didn’t understand at all. This feeling of uncertainty causes a lot of people to give up.
So, here are four keys to overcoming these four problems!
Small Focuses | Yes, it’s true: there’s a vast amount of things to learn, and it can be overwhelming. But that’s true of life itself — there’s so much to see and do, and no one can ever do it all. All we can do is one step at a time. So we have to not focus on all the innumerable huge caverns that have yet to be explored … but the ground right in front of us. What small area can we study right now. What small focus can we conquer? What little area can we explore? Just study this one thing. One small step at a time, a few small steps each day, and we can explore a lot over time.
Flip Failure on Its Head | Every single mistake is a lesson. We don’t know that our knowledge is wrong until we test it out and see whether it works. We can’t truly learn something new until we try and fail a bunch of times. We all learnt to walk that way … wobbly, falling down, until we got the hang of it. Unfortunately, at some point we start to fear failure, but that fear is just holding us back. Failure is really the learning process. Every loss at chess, every falling down when we’re learning a backflip … those are lessons. So instead of looking at failure as “bad,” we have to flip it on its head. Failure is a lesson, an opportunity to get better, a wise old teacher telling us where we need to focus our learning efforts. When you fail, smile and say thank you for the lesson.
Find Enjoyment in the Process | It’s a tough thing when we feel we’re not making progress, that things are moving too slowly. We want to get to expert level (or at least “advanced beginner”) as quickly as we can, and when it takes five times as long, we can get frustrated. The answer is to forget about the pace of our progress, but just focus on enjoying the process of learning. Enjoy the scenery, the exertion, the beauty of each step. When we’re learning, instead of focusing on where we want to be, we can enjoy the particular focus we’re studying right now. We can be grateful for where we are, for having the opportunity to learn at all. We can enjoy the falling down, and any progress we’ve made so far. Whenever we find ourselves wishing things were moving faster, that’s a good sign to change focus to where we are.
Learn to Relish Uncertainty | I think the uncertainty of learning something new, of being in such a foreign place, is probably the most difficult thing. We don’t like that uncertainty, and we usually shy away from it. With conscious practice, we can change our feeling about uncertainty. We can start to find the joy in this place of not knowing, of not being in complete control, of not having solid ground under our feet. That might sound weird, but it’s possible. So uncertainty can be enjoyed if we think of it as play. If we think of it as creation, learning, exploration, curiosity, finding out, experimenting, openness and newness. It’s courage.
With so many skills, jobs and companies out there, how on earth do you pick the right career for you? Especially if you don’t know where to start, what your skills are and no idea what your passions are? To anyone, deciding what you are going to do career-wise is a daunting task; we have so many unanswered questions about ourselves. Fear not, at Study Loans, we are here to get you on the right track and deliver sustainable courses to our students.
Now, our aim is to get you thinking about what options you have and where you should direct your next moves. Check out these helpful tips to get you started:
Have Self-Awareness | In order to start choosing the right career for you, you need to understand what sort of person you are. Ask yourself these questions: What are my values? What interests me? What type of personality do I have? Assessing yourself will go a long way in understanding what occupations are right for you. There is a vast amount of self-assessment tools on the internet to assist you, often in the form of personality tests, career tests and emotional intelligence tests.
List all the Occupational Categories you want to Explore | Grab a piece of paper and write down all the categories in the work force you may be interested in. For example, you like finance? Put down accounting and banking as well. How about Science? Put down Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The goal is to get a broad range of careers you may be interested in. You may have other categories as well through self-assessment tests; add them to the list.
Narrowing down those Categories | Now it’s time to go deeper into that list. I know this may be a lot of work, but this is important in determining what sort of career you should be pursuing; your future self will be thanking you for this assessment. The goal here is to write down an actual job role. For example, Banking – Customer Service Officer. In addition, we recommend exploring job search websites and looking at entry-level jobs; get a sense of what roles are out there and what position you need to start in to advance.
Getting Rid of the Fluff | At this point, we are going to shortlist all the jobs that we have a lot of interest in. Based on all the research we have done, what job roles appeal to you the most? Begin eliminating all the careers you don’t want to pursue. A process of elimination you could utilise could be removing job roles whose duties do not appeal to you, or possibly have no beneficial outlook. If there are jobs requiring further education and development, check out our current course page to see if you can upskill.
Time to Make your Choice | Finally, after all your research, shortlisting and eliminating is done, you should be left with several potential job roles that appeal to you the most. The time has come for you to pick the career that will offer you the most job satisfaction. Do not worry, you are allowed to choose other career paths if you change your mind. Many people go through their lives changing career paths all the time. At Study Loans, we recognise this and offer sustainable courses that allow for entry-level and upskilling.
Bonus Tip: Talking to Real People in Real Roles | Still not sure if that job role is right for you? LinkedIn is the world’s largest social media platform for professionals – how about using LinkedIn and connecting to people who are already in that role and asking them a bunch of questions? Offer them coffee and organise a quick meeting with them to chat about what they do in their roles every day. Now, pat yourself on the back because you have successfully networked with someone on a professional level!