Everyone started out as a beginner, no exception. Whether you’re working for a new job, starting a business, playing a new sport, learning a new skill or speaking in public, the fact remains that everyone must have sucked at some point in his or her life. I personally know the feeling, that’s why I am sharing this article to deliver one thing:
Always stick to the basics
Moving further, I’ve compiled a list of problems that typical beginners face in the quest for greatness and becoming the best at anything. In the latter part, I’ll explain further why getting to the basics is important and I’ll show you how to find those basic stuff.
Who Will Benefit from This Blog
Ideally, I’ve thought of this idea in order to address the beginners out there who are starting out in anything. Beginner Guides have spread all over the Internet in literally every subject you can imagine, that’s why I really think that it’s an awesome time to live regardless of where you are in the world. You can learn any hobby, skill or profession you want even if you have zero knowledge because information is free on the Internet.
When I talk about beginners, I’m referring to anyone who has interests in doing something new and is completely independent of academic standing, age, race, and any type of demographic. You could be a doctor who wants to learn how to cook, but you might also be a dropout who wants to run a successful blog. So for now, go ahead and pick one you are going to focus at.
Most Common Problems Beginners Face
Getting started in any topic, hobby or skill can be a very exciting journey. However, there will be problems that you’ll face which might not look obvious at once. Through my observation, I discovered that there are at least a dozen problems you should be aware of when trying to learn something new and becoming good at it.
- Getting Overwhelmed
With so much information out there, beginners have a tendency to mess up by browsing through tons of resources only to find out that there is a lot more stuff to learn. Imagine online marketing, and then comes blogging, email marketing, affiliate marketing, SEO, content marketing, , keyword research and so much stuff to digest. In fact, these individual topics are still huge and you can further break them down.
- Easily Distracted
Beginners lack experience simply because they have an empty mind right from the start. This lack of immersion creates a tendency to get distracted because after all, there are more important things to do that you are already good at. Why focus on something new when your time can be better spent on current stuff that exists? If you follow that reasoning, then you will never move forward with any new skill or profession.
- Fail to Prioritize
Setting priorities is very important and is one that beginners often miss. While it works to learn everything you can to be the best, your mind wasn’t designed to take everything all at once. Instead of a storage box being dumped with information, our brains actually work more like a bathtub that is being filled with water through the faucet. The intake of information is done slowly but surely and eventually grows with time.
- Lacks Guidance
But which priorities are important at the present moment? How will a novice know whether his priorities are right or wrong? That’s where trainers and coaches come into action. But what if you don’t have a coach and feel like veering off in a different direction? Confusions start to set in and further impedes your progress.
Another consequence of lacking priorities is the tendency to procrastinate. Procrastination happens because of lack of clarity and a strong enough reason to push further with doing the activity. You tend to have shortened vision because you can’t see yourself becoming successful in what you’re undergoing. If you are not serious enough and just slack off during the training, then you will fail.
- Feeling Uncomfortable
Beginners are very much susceptible to the outside world, especially to those who are more competent and proficient than them. A sense of insecurity develops from within which tends to hinder performance if not checked and properly guided. If they see that they are doing horrible, they get frustrated and stop what they’re doing. To them, it’s better to step back into the comfort zone than to continue exploring the wilderness.
- Make a Lot of Mistakes
Let’s face it, who doesn’t make mistakes? Babies fall down numerous times before being able to walk and run. Cyclists fall down from their bikes a lot of times before they eventually get better at balance. As a beginner, forgetting this one simple truth will lead to frustration, shame and guilt. If a person wishes to continue further, he must accept the fact that failure is inevitable and is willing to take the ordeal.
- Thinks Narrowly
At first, beginners tend to stick to the rules like super glue. They can’t seem to comprehend things other than what is being said to them. More experienced people develop something called intuition which guides them in their actions. This is something that a newcomer lacks and should strive to acquire.
- Seeing Hardships in a Negative Light
People who are not that good at something tend to be more negative than the better counterpart. The amount of frustration coming from mistakes, discomfort and distractions is so great that they talk it out in order to vent some of their frustrations. They are more likely not to accept responsibility so they use their current state as an excuse.
- No Credibility
Some skills like running a business, getting a job or repairing automobiles require credibility. It is an intangible thing that creates trust and indicates that you know what you’re doing. The main reason why we go to school is to build credibility by getting good grades and earning a diploma. However as a beginner, we literally start from scratch and would have to work hard in order to earn other people’s trust.
- Burn Out and Give Up
The greatest problem that beginners face along the way is burnout. The main reason why they never make it through is due to lack of passion to get through all the hardships they experience. With so much at stake, it’s easier to turn away from all these fluff and just settle in a comfy couch, isn’t it? Although some people move up the ranks, that doesn’t mean they’re safe as well. Therefore, this is actually everyone’s problem.
- Beginners Literally Suck
As simple as that. You and I cannot be good at everything, therefore there are things that we literally suck at. I’ve enlisted these problems not to alleviate them, but to remind you that these are the norms of every beginner on the road. You can use these indicators to spot someone who is just starting out and try to help him. If you don’t want to look bad anymore and be a laughing stock, then you should get out of the beginner zone ASAP.
The Solution? Know and Master the Basics
The most important advice I could give for beginners like you is to first understand the basics of what you’re doing. Provide a solid ground in which your mind rests and bases new things at. The analogy is similar to that of a plant in its early years. For it to grow, it needs to dig through the soil as deep as it could in order to establish itself firmly.
Learning algebra for example will require that you master numbers, mathematical operations, as well as variables and polynomials. Once you have them in place, that’s the time you can go for more advanced topics such as factoring and quadratic equations. By intuition, your mind will start to wonder off on its own. When that happens, it can better comprehend more complex equations.
Playing the piano requires that you learn each and every musical note as well as pressing the right notes at the right time to form a song. Also, start with slow music having only simple notes and focus on getting it right. After some time, then start learning chords, faster songs, and reading musical sheets. That’s how pianists build on their skill and eventually become masters.
I know every person has a different set of interests and skills. I might not know them, but my advice remains evergreen regardless of where you go in life. Getting so busy with learning the basics also allows you to remove procrastination, negative thoughts, and most importantly distractions. You will be better able to develop your skill and intuition, which results in an increased self-confidence.
How to Find the Basics
So what can you do to change the way you learn new things? Luckily for you, I’ve also included actionable steps for you to do right now. I suggest you do each of them one by one until you discover what works best.
- Just Expose Yourself Out There
This is the best advice for anyone out there who are still new to the subject. Getting yourself immersed in the actual experience is very effective because you get to practice the real thing and not just the theory. As a result, you will get a lot of feedback which is very important in getting something right. Mistakes are inevitable but they make great feedback, that’s why you should strive to learn from it.
- Do a Lot of Research
Research helps you understand the theory behind why something works or not. It goes side by side with practice for faster learning. However, some people just get into action without even planning on what they’re gonna do. I would like to emphasize that if you don’t know what you’re doing, then all your efforts might end up nowhere. That’s where research comes into action.
- Find out Which Topics are Basic and Advanced
A basic topic is one that you can start doing right away while an advanced topic requires that your fundamentals first be in place. Learn to distinguish basic topics from advanced ones to be clear of which topics come first. Try having a bird’s eye view of all the topics you need to learn and then arrange them in order of difficulty. Set aside the hard stuff and master the basics first.
- Distinguish between what is Right or Wrong
There’s a right way of doing things, but there’s also a wrong way of doing things. Figure out which ones are right and avoid doing the wrong stuff as much as possible. If you find yourself having two conflicting advice from different sources, use social proof and find where the majority is. It’s okay to make mistakes because having them will make you wiser. So don’t be afraid of making one.
- Ask Someone Who Knows the Basics
The simplest thing to do is to have someone guide you with what to do first. Having a friend who knows how to play the piano can help you learn the basics as well as keep you from making mistakes. Applying for German Language lessons gives you guidance on how to speak German and pronounce words the right way. All you have to do is listen and follow their advice.
- Patience is a Virtue
Have you heard of the 10,000 hour rule? I’m saying this for you to understand that it takes time to learn a new skill or hobby. Our brain is constantly creating new connections every day therefore it helps to have consistency with your habit once you get started. Just stick to the process and let the learnings flow. Hopefully, it will bear fruit in the future.
Understanding the fundamentals is key to enjoying the learning process. After all, if you don’t love what you’re doing, then what’s the point of pursuing it? We have been beginners at one point in our lives, and I’m sure you’ve surpassed that stage. It’s not rocket science and is therefore within the grasp of everyone who wants to try new things.
Okay, so you’ve followed my advice and now you are the master of basics. Question is, when do you stop learning the basics and move forward with the advanced stuff? My answer is, until you are doing it automatically without thinking. First, focus on getting the skill right, and then do it for hundreds or even thousands of times until you’ve fully mastered it.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times – Bruce Lee
What are you currently good at? Do you plan to do something new or just stick with what you’re doing right now? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s talk about it.