This week I started a new part-time remote job. They gave me a great video chat training session, and have provided me with very detailed instructions and style guide for my tasks. The first few times I logged in to start learning the work I was super scared that I was going to screw everything up. But, the training, the detailed info, and ability to ask questions meant it didn't turn out as scary or as intimidating as I thought. And now that I've been working in the system for a few hours I'm less scared and feeling a little braver. I'm feeling a little more confident, and less terrified in general.
I think there are a few things they've nailed in helping new people succeed and gain confidence.
They start you out small.
They provide extremely detailed instructions about each element of your task.
They provide feedback in a very positive way, very quickly, within a day or two.
Learning in baby steps helps to grow confidence, which can have a positive impact on mental health.
People often tout "lifelong learning" as the key to keeping your mind vibrant and quick and helping to achieve a good quality of life. But it can seem pretty intimidating when you look at some of the people spouting this information. They may seem to come from really privileged circumstances, or already have a high level of education. But I think the concept scales down really well.
It's about learning something, no matter how small, every day. Maybe all that is today is picking one thing you are curious about, and reading about it for 1 minute. Whether that's a new photography technique, looking up the definition of one new word, learning how to tie a new knot, watching an intro video about a new topic, reading a random Wikipedia page about something you're interested in, practising writing one letter in a new style or from a new alphabet.
Learning doesn't have to be a big thing. It can be tiny, and it doesn't have to require much for resources. If you have access to the internet (and if you don't have internet at home, get yourself down to your nearest library!) you can learn pretty much anything from a free youtube video or written article. If you are dedicated and committed you can eventually become an expert in whatever you are interested in, one tiny fact at a time.