The Process of Learning Something New

In his book, Always improving: Lessons from the samurai, Steve Beauchamp talks about having courage is essential in learning new things because it can be hard at first, and learning itself is a process. He mentions four stages of learning that people undergo. Read on to discover these four stages of learning.

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Everything is hard at first; there is a process that people need to go through

Nick: A quote, again, from Musashi is "It seems difficult at first, because everything is difficult."

And you quote, "It takes courage to want to learn new things, to say things that need to be said, and to stand up for something you believe in."

We all have a fear of failing, this resonated to me. Would you like to share your thoughts on both of these quotes? 

Steve: So I think the when I came across his quote, that really resonated for me. Because I've spent the greater part of my career as a trainer and training people on different things, or a mentor and coach. 

So the idea that somebody could say, well, this is just too hard, right? Well, it's like, everything is hard at first, right? And you have to recognize that there's a process you go through of learning, that helps things become less difficult over time.

And I talked about in the book, the four stages of learning. And real quick, the first stage is, you are unconsciously incompetent, right? Like, you just don't know what you don't know. And then when you start learning, you start picking up a little bit, now you become consciously incompetent, where you know how much you don't know.

From there, you transition into stage three, which is you become consciously competent, where you feel like you know some things, you feel like you have some success that's starting to happen. And then finally move into what's called unconscious competence, where you actually don't know how much you actually know.

And you've actually probably forgotten more than the person that's starting out, right? Because you just becomes just so easily flowing through whatever it is you're doing that it just comes naturally to you.

But before you get to that stage, you had to go through all of the other stages of learning where you forget how difficult things were at first. And so I think, when it comes to learning new things, we have to remember that it's going to be difficult at first.

But that doesn't mean that that should stop you from wanting to learn something new. So if you look at any of these virtues that I write about, and you think, oh, man, like, this is way too much, like there's no way that I can figure this out.

Well, just remember that everything that you've ever learned in your life has gone through this process. So it doesn't matter what it is.