How To Really Learn New Skills

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If you want to be successful in life and business you can’t avoid learning new skills on a regular basis.

You might do this by participating in courses, by reading books or through a coach or teacher.

But whatever your preferred way is, it will take you out of your comfort zone for a while as it is new to you and untested. This is what learning is about.

It’s also important to recognize that learning needs to become part of your comfort zone if it is to be applied successfully.

How do you do that?

If you do something often enough you will get used to it and you form new pathways in your brain which become stronger as more often you practice. There is nothing new there. We all know we need to practice if we want to get good at it. With good at it, I mean being able to do it without too much thinking.

Remember when you went to driving school? At the beginning it was hard and complex. But the more often you practiced, the better you became. You had to think less and that caused less stress. It became part of your routine while learning something new.

How do you learn the things you read in a book and put them into practice?

This is were mindful learning comes into place.

We already know that you will have to practice all the new stuff you learn to get good at it and to make it part of you. That requires you to know what you actually want to practice. If you read a book about business models or mindfulness, the knowledge itself is not good enough. You will forget most of it in a very short period of time.

You need to pick the pieces you can put into practice and start using them. Be proactive about it and pick the pieces which speak to you most and test them. Play with it. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, try another way.

This goes for anything. If you want to learn about communication, practice communicating. If you want to learn sales techniques, start selling and practice what you learned. Over time you will get better at it and you will find your own way, the one that works for you best.

Personally, books or teachings are merely guides to follow to find the way that works best for me. I would advise you to look at all of this the same way. A coach will never teach you what to do, but help you design your own way and method and help you practice until it is a proven skill and within your comfort zone.

Your comfort zone is the sum of your learning!

This is the easiest way to measure your learning success. In its essence, stepping out of your comfort zone is the process of bringing the knowledge home and through that expanding your comfort zone.

The answer to the question about how to really learn skills lies in the gathering of knowledge and through practice making it yours.

Next time when you read an interesting book with lots of advice and information, pick one piece and look for ways to put it in practice. You will quickly find out which way works for you best. Then keep practicing until you feel comfortable with it – and you really will have learned something new.

What are you going to learn next?

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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