Sometimes we will not try something new because we are afraid we will be bad at it. We don’t want to be uncomfortable and make mistakes, so we avoid that new activity altogether.
In this post, I will explore why being a beginner is a good thing, how it can improve your life and why having a beginner’s mindset is a critical aspect in learning new things and making progress in any area, based on my experience.
You learn to learn
If you left school and you haven’t had a chance to learn and try something new in a while, chances are your learning muscle could need some training. Learning new things is interesting and fun, but also requires concentration and focus. It can get tiring, but always remember that the more you practice the easier something becomes
I have been following a course recently and I noticed how learning and studying requires a different type of effort than other types of work. We discussed this with some friends and we all agreed we felt like we’d worked out our brains in a very specific way
You get comfortable with mistakes
- As a beginner you will make mistakes, it’s natural and almost impossible not to. You will realize that it’s something that happens to everyone. Most importantly, that it’s not the end of the world. You will learn how to deal with making mistakes and fixing things. And you will learn how to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future. All of this can be applied in other areas of your life, which require accountability and trust.
- Over the years I developed different strategies and I use different tools to make sure I minimize mistakes and, if/when they happen, that I take accountability and do not repeat the same mistake in the future
You get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Nobody likes making mistakes or progressing slowly. It’s uncomfortable. But it will happen anyway. And the more you feel uncomfortable, the easier it gets, to sit in that feeling and sensation. You might be able to try new things and risk being uncomfortable in other areas, since you are familiar with novelty and trying scary things. This will also be helpful when setting boundaries, for example, if you are not used to doing so
You become more confident
You will see and be able to measure your progress from one session to the next. Improvement will make you feel proud and satisfied with yourself. This will boost your self-confidence and your ability to trust yourself and your strengths
I still remember specific moments from the past, when I managed to do something I wasn’t able to do before. It is nice to know that practice and focus make a huge difference
You strengthen your growth mindset
By seeing improvements, you will prove to yourself that you can learn something new and that talent is not always a gift, but comes with practice and dedication. Seeing yourself improve in a new activity shows that similar results can be achieved even if you are not, at the moment, good or if you were not “born for it”
You ask why
When you cover the basics, it is easier to learn and memorize if you are curious about the reasons behind the plain facts or steps. Asking “why?”, being curious and digging deeper are all great characteristics that you want to develop and train as much as possible, and being a beginner encourages this
The beginner’s mindset – You question the status quo and think of different approaches
With being curious and getting to the root of things, you might find yourself wondering if this is the best way to do something. Experts in the field will be able to explain to you why an idea will not work. Or, they might encourage you to try and test your assumption.
The ability to see things from a fresh perspective can bring new ideas and sometimes also lead to a new approach being adopted. On the other hand, experts could tend to stick to what they are familiar with and used to. For this reason , they might find more resistance – take advantage of your beginner’s mindset to innovate, if possible
You find new connections
On top of coming up with new approaches for one specific topic, you will find new connections with the other things in your life, often completely unrelated. Something you learn while starting a new hobby might spark an idea that can help you at work. Or something you discover while in a beginner course you signed up for might be tweaked and adapted to enhance your personal life