The most important step to overcome your biggest learning mistake is knowing what it is.

Can you guess?

To succeed with any learning, you’ve got to be confident. And confidence is a skill. This is at the absolute top of any list of things to learn. With confidence, you move through learning with ease and an open heart.

In my previous blog, I shared about how I suffered a lot in my role as CFO. I was stuck in Conscious Incompetence and kept going deeper into this challenging learning stage instead of moving ahead.

I feared failure like nobody’s business. Trying to be perfect was impossible and sabotaged my performance and my learning process.

I missed the fact that you’ve got to enter any learning process with confidence. And, as I went through life, I never gave this foundational life skill the attention it desperately needed. Instead, I’d mastered being insecure, stressed-out, busy, and judging myself harshly.

Let me tell you – that DOES NOT work at all.

Here’s what I learned when I stepped back and saw the big gap in my approach. This allows me to move through things calmly and courageously – with ease.

4 Practices to Overcome Your Learning Mistake

1. Name Your Skill Gap

I know I shared earlier what the mistake is. However, you’ve got to name it for yourself. Does this feel right – your mistake is lack of confidence? And, if it does, can you accept it patiently?

I’m asking you to really take a step back here and get real with yourself. Look at what you’ve been doing (what’s worked and what’s not worked) and how confidence played into it. Build your own conviction. Don’t believe this just because I say so. 

2. Focus Your Energy on Right Skill

So, if this speaks to you and you can accept the mistake, begin to shift your attention to grow your confidence.

Of course, there are things you need to learn right now. I’m not saying to push the pause button on them. Keep doing what you’re doing.

However, it’s a must that you cultivate your confidence at the same time.  It must be on a parallel track to whatever you’re doing. If you wait to plant this seed, you may wait forever because no amount of unfocused doing will lead to it.

3. Set Realistic and Positive Outcomes

Look out 3 months, 6 month, 1 year from now and set some outcomes for yourself. Pick the right timeframe for you. You’re creating a blueprint for this confidence to happen. You’re going to stop making the same mistake.

Consider different angles to what you aim for. How will this support your core values, your interactions with others, your mental approach to work, how you physically show up (body language)? 

Please don’t skip this step or else you’ll be shooting for a blank image and get a lot of potluck-like results. This is too precious an effort to waste your time like that.

4. Practice with the Right Support

Determine some ways you can start building your confidence today. If you’re like me, you may not know what practical action you can take to start doing that. What I can tell you now, you can get help in many ways. This is so do-able. 

For me, I’ve relied on very carefully selected gurus and coaches to set me on the right path and help me along the way. Set yourself up too to be encouraged, challenged, and inspired. It makes the process feel safe and leads you in the right direction. And, it saves tons of time you’re probably wasting right now being worried and afraid to fail. 

In Summary

Now you can see that confidence is foundational to learning anything well. And, being confident is a skill in itself. You can proceed with anything that’s in progress and develop confidence simultaneously (not expecting it to arise at the end which never happens!). You’ll feel empowered, at ease, and enjoy learning a lot more. 

Take a peek at your own competency with confidence. If you’re not satisfied, name one small action you can take to do something differently today. Remember doing more of the same will get you the same result. That’s the definition of insanity.

Please don’t do that and be confused like I was for most of my life

I’d value seeing your creative ideas so please share in the comments. You may inspire someone else today.