Everything we know, we’ve learned somehow – by watching, hearing, reading about, and/or doing.
Being a lifelong learner is good for your health and happiness. It helps keep you engaged in the world, so ask questions, research, and keep learning.
Being a beginner can be awkward because you’re figuring things out as you go. You can learn a lot from experts, but some people may try and make you feel ridiculous because you don’t know something they think is obvious. They forget that no one knows everything about everything.
A few months ago, I joined a bloggers meet-up because I wanted to connect with fellow bloggers. I thought it would be a great opportunity to share “best practices” and gain insight from their experiences.
Bloggers at the meet up ranged from total newbies to experts with years of blogging experience.
I’d just recently started reading Seth Godin’s blog. Seth blogs about marketing and business. He’s written a ton of books and been around a long time, but he was new to me.
I thought a newbie might like Seth’s blog too, so I asked a brand new blogger, “Have you heard of Seth Godin?”
And a blogger who’s been blogging for years said, “Everyone knows about Seth Godin.” It was the kind of statement that would’ve had a drawn out, “Duh” coupled with an exaggerated eyeroll.
“Nah-uh,” I wanted to say, but instead I said, “I hadn’t heard of him ’til a few weeks ago.”
I thought to myself, “No, that’s not true. Everyone does not know about Seth Godin.”
(Interestingly, Seth Godin blogs about how ideas are shared.)
No matter where you fall in the spectrum of experience, remember: No one knows everything about everything.
If you’re a beginner:
Learn all you can. Do your homework and show up as prepared as possible.
Take your time, take notes, and practice. Keep at it. Don’t worry if you forget what you learned and have to keep re-learning it.
Get extra help if you need it. It’s okay. Don’t let pride keep you from learning all you can.
If you’re an expert:
Be open to new ideas. Even a teacher can learn from a student.
Be patient with others. Don’t assume people know what you’re talking about. We’re all at different stages of learning.
Be humble. You were a beginner once too.
Sharing ideas is important. It’s a give and take. Sometimes we teach, sometimes we learn. Don’t let people to make you feel bad about being a beginner.