When You’re Learning, You Should Feel Uncomfortable

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Being a beginner at something can feel awkward and embarrassing, especially if you’re used to being an expert. But those feelings are the inescapable growth pains that come from developing and improving.

o To get used to the discomfort, know that it’s brave to be a beginner. Exposing your weaknesses and trying new things takes courage.

o You can make the challenge a bit easier by looking for learning situations where the stakes are low — maybe a class where you’re not expected to be an expert or you don’t know anyone else.

o If it helps, tell fellow participants that you may mess up whatever you’re about to attempt. Your willingness to take risks may inspire others to do the same.

o And whatever you do, don’t stop learning. Keep pushing yourself, especially in the areas where you are accomplished, so you can get even better.

If you are willing to feel embarrassment and shame, and even to fail, there’s no end to what you can do.

[Perhaps what the most difficult challenge is to identify, accept, and then eliminate “unknown unknowns”: What you think fully understand…but don’t.

This tip is adapted from Learning Is Supposed to Feel Uncomfortable,” by Peter Bregman

Here’s a direct link to dozens of other Management Tips.

 

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