Teaching Yourself New Tricks

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There comes a time in every sharp, life-affirming and high-performing woman’s life when she has the urge to take a giant leap and do something new. 

It could be speaking fluent French, running a marathon or creating a PowerPoint presentation for either a work or a volunteer meeting.  As someone who just mastered the art of Skyping, I can relate to the anxiety of learning something new but the good news (and there’s lots of good news) is that mastering something new and learning a new trick is the surest way to earn a reputation for being “with-it.”

When I hear someone say “I don’t do Facebook,” I know the person has come to a screeching halt and has no interest in staying au courant with the world.  Everyone should consider getting on Facebook, as it’s a way to not only connect but also to demonstrate that you are an “adaptor” to modern technology.  

Staying “au courant” plays an even more important role if you’ve taken a hiatus while your children are small.  Should you decide to return to work, your skill set will be up to par and you will not approach interviews in a defensive mode.  On the contrary, you can easily transfer your skills to the workplace and cement the impression that your learning curve (since every job has a learning curve) will be short.

Learning something new and teaching yourself a new trick will trigger a sense of passion.  You will be thrilled with your new aptitude and it will increase your self-confidence and self-esteem.  I cannot overstate the importance of maintaining confidence in yourself whether you’re running a household or a corporation’s division.  There’s a reason the first page of the Cub Scout manual is “how to tie your shoes.” 

By taking a small step, you are building your confidence so start with small goals:  Initiating a hello, joining LinkedIn, writing a note instead of text messaging it, reading a daily newspaper so you know what’s going on in Iran and Afghanistan, and most importantly, taking interest in the world around you so you can connect with anyone about “the big” (world affairs) and “the small” (is it really necessary to send your pre-schooler for tutoring lessons to gain entry into a nursery school program?).

Don’t settle or compromise your abilities to take on new challenges.  Keep learning, stretching, taking a plop and then picking yourself up and starting all over again.  Do you know why people of an “advanced age” are still  number 1 on the speed-dial?  They haven’t landed.  They’re still flying.

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