Learning new things and getting out of comfort zone

When we need to learn something new we step out of our comfort zone. While some people find it very easy and inspiring, others need to manage the courage.

I have overfocus ADHD, which means I have especially hard time accepting changes. One of the reasons I feel such a dire need to know almost everything is a fear of handling something entirely new, something I do not know about. So if I can make myself learn something new, anyone can. Here are the steps I use:

Step 1: Get clear motivation. Before I start learning something I need to know very well how this knowledge is going to help me in the future, how much effort I should be able to invest and how urgent the new skill is.

Step 2: Mental preparation. I will want to find common challenges and limitations, which parts will be easier and which harder, what I will probably find interesting  or easy and what will be difficult for me.

Step 3: Connecting to my general knowledge. No matter how new the subject is to me, I must have some related knowledge – otherwise I would not learn the new subject. I prepare the related knowledge for further linking, by asking myself various questions and boosting curiosity.

Step 4: Just do it.  I always find it hard to START the new process, so before I actually start I give myself some time to do nothing and free my willpower. At some point I get both very relaxed and ready to start working. Then I will start working, and hope to continue working till I get into flow. Once I got into flow on any new subject, it becomes a part of my comfort zone.

Step 5: Reward myself. If I have done something hard for me successfully, I do indulge myself: coffee, sweets, fun reading on the internet, everything goes as long as it is healthy and makes me feel good about myself. This way I rebuild my willpower and confidence.

These steps are very simple, and everyone can do them! There is no point to delay learning new things or procrastinate implementing the knowledge. Occasionally the fear itself is the worst thing that can happen…



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2 Replies to “Learning new things and getting out of comfort zone”

    1. Growing pains. Some discomfort is normal, but if it actually hurts, then either you are not doing it right or you need professional help.

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