There is an immeasurable amount of information literally at our fingertips.
We can learn anything online.
I’ll say that again, because it’s hard to grasp the enormity of that concept.
Seriously, right now, you can learn ANYTHING.
Think of anything you wish you could do, and you can find a little to a lot of information about it online. Now more than ever before, we have an incredible opportunity to learn and grow in expansive ways.
So why don’t we?
Why We Don’t Take Action on Our Ideas or Desires
“I’m too busy.” “Yeah, but my situation is different.” “I don’t know where to start.”
The real reason behind all of those excuses is that it’s scary. And overwhelming. It’s much easier to cover up with an excuse than to figure it out on your own.
We grow up in schools where our classes and lessons are almost entirely pre-determined for us. No wonder we feel lost while trying to navigate this new online educational territory by ourselves.
It’s actually a new way of learning.
What if there is another option?
Why can’t you feel just as comfortable navigating the online hallways as you do the ones you knew so well in high school?
Instead of feeling lost or on your own, what if you had a guide?
Imagine how empowered you would feel with a 5-step process for finding, integrating and applying new information.
I believe that learning is a skill and a mindset that anyone can have. Yes, including you!
Why Do I Make Such a Bold Promise?
For over 10 years, I have been teaching myself how to do things. Everything and anything, from coordinating an entire 200+ US show tour for a rock band to developing my graphic and web design full-time freelance business to building a massive wooden art supply table for a client who still receives compliments.
How can I be successful doing such diverse endeavors while having no prior experience?
1) Skills are transferable.
If you know how to boil water, then you know how to cook dozens of dishes.
Plus, the more comfortable you are with self-learning, the more your learning curve grows exponentially with each new skill.
2) Even though the projects are different, my process is the same.
And, now I teach my same process to others.
Say Hello to the 5 Steps to Learn Anything
We will start with a simple example of how to use these steps to get comfortable with learning something new online: facilitating a webinar for the first time.
But, this is just the beginning. You can re-use this process to go deeper each time with the same skill or a new one. As you’ll see, you can even use this process beyond the online world.
Step #1: Explore
Let’s say you have been on a few webinars, but have no clue how to do one yourself.
Firstly, what is your mindset? What are you already telling yourself? It’s human nature to look for reasons that prove your viewpoint. Instead, try to keep a fresh, open mind and continually ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”
Then, let Google be your best friend! Saturate yourself with inspiration and information. Ask and explore. Let go of your preconceptions and just soak it all in. There is no right or wrong yet. You are gathering information.
Let’s say you ask Google “how to best webinar.” You look through some links and are starting to understand a few of the components, but most of it is still vague with words you don’t understand. That’s ok. You keep browsing, looking up the confusing words, and trying new searches.
Then, you find a link with a clear how-to article, and lots of explanation for beginners. Score! Are there comments? What do people say? You find a great question, “How do you get people to come to your webinar?” There aren’t any quality responses, so you go back to Google.
Pretend you are a detective. Follow the breadcrumbs. Be curious on purpose.
It’s important to explore emotionally too. What do you desire? Why do you want to do this? What do you want to feel during? After?
Imagine the feelings you want to have while you are on your webinar. Do you want to feel confident? At ease? Flowing?
Visualize yourself teaching a topic you are passionate about to a group of interactive listeners. Feel the buzzing excitement of bringing people together and sharing YOUR value. Explore within yourself the experience you desire to have.
For more on desires, I highly recommend Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map.
Step #2: Research
Next, you will bring deductive reasoning back in. Begin to weigh your findings and compare the best resources. Did your exploring bring up further questions? Do you feel like there are still some missing pieces? Maybe you are just having trouble putting it all together.
Let’s say you found two great articles on webinars, but there are some big differences. You’re feeling stuck not knowing which one to follow.
Now is the time to reach out to your circle – friends, family, and beyond. Who do you know that is an expert? Or at least, who knows more than you do?
If you don’t know anyone, find people you can reach out to. Maybe something in the article was confusing. Why not contact the author of the article?
Don’t be afraid to not know. Ask questions – lots of questions – and listen. Most people want to help. And, talking with someone can clarify things in so many ways. Even if you think you know what to do, someone who has been through it will have meaningful insights.
Step #3: Trust
You probably want to learn something so that you could actually DO something with this knowledge.
This is where most of us get stuck. We begin to doubt ourselves and the excuses take over. “What if I do it wrong?” “What if I no one shows up?” “What if I fail?” “What if I succeed?” This is where it’s easy to feel paralysed or frozen.
Instead, stand up and take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the ground. Solid. Take a big inhale and as you exhale, shake your body all over and make the craziest sound that comes out. Repeat if needed.
It feels silly, but this literally shifts your physical state, which allows you to shift your mental state.
When you are feeling ready to take on the web again, look at what you already know. At the very least, you understand the concept of webinars. You need a topic, a way to host the call, and at least one attendee. Not so bad, right?
But, you know more than that. By now, you’ve explored and researched. Try writing all of it down in one place. It can help you to get perspective. Trust that you know more than you think you know.
Step #4: Play
Another hang up people face in implementing their new knowledge is the pressure of a definitive situation – such as a live webinar. So, let’s take a step in between.
Take the pressure off and pretend you are a kid. No one is watching, so you can interact with what you’ve learned. Play. If you are too serious, you will tense up and lose the reason why you started to learn this in the first place. Make everything an experiment.
Step into your imaginary science lab. Spread out your notes and begin to try things out. Open the webinar technology and test the different settings. Have a friend call in. Turn on some music and have a web jam party. Pull out your colored markers and create a topic outline for yourself.
Practice what you are going to say. Practice while sitting, standing, and wiggling around. What does it feel like? Immerse yourself in the environment, the tools, the ingredients, and the combinations.
Why? You want to know these things intimately. How can you utilize them if they are foreign objects? Before the pressure of launching, give yourself the freedom to let go and experiment.
Step #5: Launch
Go ahead. It’s time. You are ready. Set the date for your webinar. Email your mailing list. Apply all that you’ve learned and if questions come up, you now know how to find solutions (see steps 1 and 2). Done is better than perfect. In fact, there is no perfect. Just choices. Start small, easy, simple.
Every time you launch, you will learn something new. Growth is a never-ending process, so jump in!
After your webinar, get feedback. Check in with yourself and others. What worked? What didn’t? What would happen if you altered something a little? A lot? Added this? Removed that? Let it marinate. Transform. Clarify. Reflect on the experience.
Did you experience the desires you listed in step 1? How could you incorporate them more? What will you want to do next time?
Celebrate what you’ve accomplished! Celebrate the journey. Even if it’s not as successful as you’d hoped, you have had valuable experiences that you can build upon or apply to anything else.
This is huge.
You have done something courageous that a lot of other people are too afraid to attempt. Appreciate yourself and soak it in!
In Your Own Words
Which of these steps have you used to learn something new? Share YOUR experiences, small wins, big wins, and insights in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!