As a former human resources professional it has always intrigued me as to why people were more 'successful' than others. By 'successful' we are referring to an innate ability of some people to set and achieve worthwhile challenges for themselves.
Here we are using the word "challenge" and not goals. A challenge may be a goal, but not every goal is a challenge. Challenges stretch us beyond where we are and generally require us to embrace learning something new.
Very often it is the learning process - or lack of understanding of the learning process - that causes usto shrink from challenges. When we are children we learn readily. Unfortunately somewhere in our development some of us start to acquire negative thoughts and feelings about learning new things. For some, our experiences in school have not fostered a love of learning and confidence in our ability to learn. Consequently we enter adulthood not valuing or understanding these important skills.
Do you find yourself shrinking back from challenging situations? Do you assess tasks as not possible, because you don't know enough? Be honest, many of us do. Have you started a home business and feel completely overwhelmed by your lack of confidence? Do you say to yourself, "It can work for others, but not for me". Or, "I am the exception that proves the rule!"
If this is you, then read on as we explain a process of adult learning. There are many models of adult learning and the theory of such has been the subject of many doctorates. These however, are not the subject of this article. Here we are using a simple model that most people can relate to which can make a difference to their lives.
There are four stages of development when you are learning something new. Once you understand these stages of learning, you may be encouraged to place yourself in challenging situations and extend your capacity and capabilities through the learning process. You may even learn to drop "I can't" from your vocabulary and develop an "I can" perspective of yourself!
Go on, you can't lose and you just might acquire the confidence to make an outstanding success at your home business or other challenging venture!
STAGE 1 - THE FOOLISH STAGE!
When you first start out you feel like an idiot! You feel as though you are stupid. If you are learning to play golf, you most certainly would not think of yourself as a 'golfer' the first time you pick up the golf club. But the fact of the matter is, you are a golfer….simply a very inexperienced one!
This is the stage where we feel like a fake, or a charlatan…because we have not mentally and emotionally bought into the concept that we are a golfer. We may have made a verbal commitment, and taken some action (picked up the club), but our hearts and minds are still a long way behind. That's why we can't call ourselves a golfer. If our hearts and minds were in full alignment with our words and actions, then we would say, "I am a golfer….and I have a bunch of stuff to learn before I get really good". If we are a newbie in the home business arena, we may decide to keep quiet about our new business until the business proves itself! (Hmmm)
This is a dangerous stage because without a firm focus, we are likely to stop and give up. It is important to make a mental shift and imagine yourself having fully achieved what you set out to do. Imagine yourself playing golf, confidently hitting the ball straight down the fairway. In reality we may feel uncomfortable, and out of our depth; perhaps even anxious. This is simply the early stages of learning and won't be the final place if you keep going with the task you have undertaken. The more uncomfortable you feel about your new venture, the harder you should work on your imagination of success.
Some people try to avoid this stage altogether and procrastinate from getting fully committed because they want to be feeling "comfortable". What they actually mean is they can't get started until they have learnt everything there is to know! They want to spend months researching before they pick up a club and approach the golf tee. This is a great mistake!
You can't learn how to play golf from a textbook or from a training video alone. You have to learn in practice. Likewise your home business will not grow if you don't communicate with people. You may feel totally foolish, but you cannot go forward unless you try and learn by doing. Learning by doing is one of the fastest ways to learn a new skill. How good a game of golf would you play, if you just read about how to swing the club? How quickly will your business grow if you only read the training manuals?
You have to get started, despite how foolish you feel….AND you have to keep going despite how UNCOMFORTABLE you feel. Determine not to stop because if you do, you will stop at the start and never get to the finish line!
STAGE 2 - UNCOMFORTABLE
In the next phase you may not feel quite so anxious and foolish, but you most certainly are still uncomfortable! Keep going no matter how uncomfortable you feel. The only way to get past this stage is more and more practice. Your heart will catch up if you keep doing the deal over and over. You may start to see some results from your efforts, but keep your focus on the future for the best is yet to come. If you keep going giving yourself more and more practice, picking yourself up despite the mistakes, eventually you will find some aspects of the game of golf (or your home business) will start to feel more comfortable. Oh what a feeling! Make sure you celebrate the wins no matter how small and reinforce how well you are doing.
STAGE 3 - COMFORTABLE
In this next stage of learning, you will start to lose some of your nervousness in talking to people about the business, you may even start to see some results. Possibly some questions which earlier on distressed you, are no longer a challenge. You start to see that you can answer objections people put in front of you, with ease and style. This is the comfortable stage. Your heart has finally caught up with your head. You can tell people confidently you are a golfer, or have your own business. Once your reach this stage your self belief will have grown exponentially. Don't take your learning for granted - celebrate your success again and again.
STAGE 4 - PROFICIENT - REFLEX ACTION - AUTOMATIC!
This is where you really wanted to be when you start. You are great at what you do!!! The only way to get here is practice, practice, and practice. You can't get here in one step. You must pass through the other three stages. Once you are here, don't be surprised if unforeseen things happen and you may slip back into feeling comfortable, or even uncomfortable. For example, you may have to play golf on a different or harder course. Do not fear, simply practice over and over and you will again be proficient and feeling completely in control of what you are doing.
These four stages of learning can be applied to just about any situation which requires learning a new skill. Learning is a journey and when we understand the stages of learning we can use the experiences as a powerful vehicle to propel us to achieving a worthwhile challenge, rather than a daunting experience that gets the better of us! Celebrate your successes not matter how small and, never give up!
(c) Copyright Kim Beardsmore
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Kim Beardsmore is a distributor for an established MLM company that operates in 59 countries. Built upon 25 years experience, and a proven business system, this is "business in a box" that anyone can operate. If you are interested in earning money from home, we can show you how to generate a profitable business for yourself in an around your current schedule. Visit now: http://free2liv.com.