Have you ever uttered these words, “I can’t do that, I don’t know how to!”
I’m pretty sure we all have had that sentiment at one point or another. Maybe you want to sew some curtains for your home, but than you think, “I don’t know how to sew, I can’t do that.” Similar situations can happen to us professionally as well as personally.
The pervasive feeling here is that you have to learn how to do something before you can actually do it. A lot of this is predicated on fear, “What if I mess up” or a lack of confidence, “I just don’t know what I’m doing.” That’s that sound of you holding yourself back! So stop it, What’s the worst thing that could happen anyway?
Here’s a newsflash for you, most of us don’t know what we’re doing and we make it up as we go along! This is especially true when innovation occurs. Do you think Thomas Edison knew what he was doing when he invented electricity. Or that Robert Cailliau and Tim Berners-Lee knew what they were doing when they invented the internet, of course not!
They figured it out as they went by: 1) envisioning the outcome they sought to create, 2) drawing on the knowledge they possessed, 3) experimenting with trial and error and 4) improving along the way until they arrived. If they can do it, so can you. So, if you think you can’t do it because you don’t know how to, I’m here to tell you to go ahead and try for these five simple reasons:
- Experience is life’s best teacher – You’ve likely heard of the school of hard knocks! Yeah, that’s what happens when you learn from your experiences. You know those times you read about something, then follow what it says only to realize, “This isn’t going quite like I expected!” If you want to learn how to do something, then do it.
- Build your confidence – Reflecting on the challenges you have overcome and your accomplishments helps to build your confidence. And the only way to build your confidence is to have the courage to go for it. Do it now and you will believe you can do anything later.
- Master the creative process – The four steps I outlined above are a simplistic overview of the Creative Process, which goes beyond artistic pursuits. It is a process of bringing a vision to fruition, turning an idea into reality. Once you learn that you can learn to do whatever you put your mind to.
- Opportunities for improvement and innovation – By teaching yourself as you go, you’re not limited by pre-determined perceptions of the right way to do something or hamstrung by beliefs that another thing is impossible. Your mind is open to new and innovative solutions that may not have been tried before.
- Avoid learning bad habits – Sometimes when we follow someone else’s definition of the right way to do something, we learn the wrong way and consequently form bad habits. When you learn something by doing it you develop and keen ability to evaluate and improve as you go rather then blindly doing as you were taught.