When is the last time you listened to a webinar, read a blog or heard a podcast? I mean really listened… to the whole thing AND walked away feeling good about learning something?

Have you noticed that sometimes exposing yourself to new information can have a reverse effect? Instead of feeling enriched and empowered, you might feel overwhelmed and frustrated. All that learning without enough context or application tends to only emphasize what we are NOT doing. It can even make you feel like you are not good enough or just don’t know how to do things they way other people do.

That is so not what I want for you. No matter where you are in personal or professional development, the key to growth is to focus on progress not perfection. There are a million and one wonderful things you can do to grow your practice, but you cannot do them all today.

So…here are five approaches to learn new things that can help you stay encouraged, inspired and growing:

1. Control the Flow.
Consider creating a learning cue…information, organized by topic and ready to go when you are. Make the choice to learn at the speed of implementation. Learn, then implement, then come back and learn some more. What is the point of bombarding yourself with information you aren’t actually ready to use? It will be there for you when the time is right.

2. Choose wisely
Although there are LOTS of interesting things to explore, focus on learning about things that you are really ready to implement. Start with self awareness. It’s important to identify what you need to know so you can seek out information that will help you achieve your immediate goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself with random knowledge. Focus.

3. Prepare yourself
Go into it knowing what you want to get out of it. Consider your current knowledge base on the topic and think of the holes you are seeking to fill. Is there an area of confusion this information can clear up? Is there an approach you think might accelerate your results? Be on the lookout for how any incoming information can really help move you forward right now.

4. Create Action Plans
Create layers in your learning by connecting the dots. Draw connections between what you are learning now and what you have already learned before. This is how you can deepen your knowledge. Gather together information and then develop your own well vetted action plan. Listen with an ear toward creating step by step plans of how you can implement what you are learning. This is a great way to use new information to get you from where you are now to where you want to go.

5. Journal to capture valuable insights.
Make the experience relevant to you personally by drawing connections to your own life. Think about how life would be different once you have mastered whatever you are learning. What feelings come up for you as you listening? Focusing on the process rather than the outcome makes for a richer experience. Take time for personal reflection.

Want to really impress yourself? Be someone that takes fast action on what you are learning. Hold yourself accountable to getting results and seeing things through to completion. This will increase your sense of competency and confidence for the next time you approach learning something new.

Personal development is the secret weapon to success. When you are open and approach learning with a sense of adventure, you can expand your horizons and learn so many new things.

When is the last time you learned something new? I would love to hear about how you are growing. Come connect with me in our Practice Pros Community on Facebook or Linkedin and let us support you as you are making progress.

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