Admit it.

You want to learn a new skill. Maybe one that will help you raise your earnings, start a business, have more fun, or do something better.

You have been procrastinating for some time. Finally, you resolve to get started.

While you're certain you will succeed, there are mistakes that may cripple your progress.

Here are 11 Mistakes you are likely to make when learning a new skill.

11 Mistakes That Bar You from Acquiring a New Skill

1. Setting vague goals (or not setting any at all)

How specific are you when learning a new skill? Do you define the level of the skill you want to reach? Answering these questions is the first thing you have to make when learning a new skill.

But most people don’t. That’s usually the first mistake. It’s like setting out on a journey without deciding your destination- you just wander.

So every time you’re learning something, set a clear, specific and measurable goal.

For instance, I want to learn how to code is vague. I want to learn how to code with Python so I can build my first program is specific and attainable.

2. Wanting to be an instant master of the skill.

Sometimes, you are hungry for instant results. Usually without putting in the work.

Turns out, that’s one of the most common mistakes when learning a new skill.

Partly because it incites you to look for desperate ways to fasten your progress.

Even worse, when most people don’t get the results they are looking for, fast, they quit.

While getting better quickly is good. Only ensure you put in the work and follow a clear pathway.

It may take time. But if you do it right, you will be able to sustain your progress and success.

3. Succumbing to being a sucker on your first attempt

This is so obvious:

When trying something for the first time, you will suck at it.

And while most people know this, it frustrates them. Failing makes one feel stupid.

According to psychologists, our brains are wired to protect us from feeling stupid, or facing failure.

So when you suck at something, which is expected, your brain will talk you into taking a shortcut: quitting.

So how do you get past this?

First, realize that failing is normal and expected. Own your failures, embrace them and use them as learning points. When you fail, found out why and then learn how to do get better.

4. Getting intimidated by the knowledge at your disposal

Think about it.

What happens when you make a simple google search on how to learn a particular skill?

Millions of results. In different formats. Each promising you better results.

And if you’re anything like most people, all that information overwhelms you.

Chances are you will pass through a few of them and succumb to the thought of reading all of them to learn your skill.

But in truth you don’t need all them to learn a new skill. Yet, you can use them to your advantage.

If you skim through a few materials, important sub-skills will repeat themselves. And then you can use your understanding of the skill to choose the best of those materials. Without getting overwhelmed by too much information.

5. Doing too much research than practice

If you’re anything like me, you do a comprehensive research about a skill before acquiring it. Reading alot about a skill can almost fool you into thinking you're already good at it.

According to Josh Kaufman, doing too much research can be a form of procrastination. So how much research is enough?

Kaufman advices you learn just enough to self-correct. Learn enough to know when you’re making a mistake. And then practice.

Interestingly, when you practice, better questions will arise. You will realize areas you need to improve. And then you can be more specific in your research. Without getting overwhelmed by too much of it.

Real progress starts when you practice.

6. Comparing your performance to that of experts

When I started social dancing, I was a complete disaster, and I knew it.

But the real disaster started when I started comparing myself to the dance gurus on the floor. And then all I could conclude was, “I can never be as good as them”.

And that’s what happens to most us when we’re learning a new skill.

We compare ourselves to the experts. And then we beat ourselves up when our performance doesn’t match up to their standards.

In truth, it’s unrealistic to expect that a few days of practice can make you as good as someone with years of practice.

How do you go about it?

Remember why you're learning the new skill.

For instance, let’s say you to learn how to cook a decent meal so you can prepare one for your family. Focus your efforts on developing your skills to that level.

You don’t to be as good as or better than the experts to achieve your goal- just good enough. And then you can scale up with time.

7. Multi-learning sub-skills or skills

You see, you can break a skill into sub-skills which are easier to learn. This will help you fasten your progress.

Sometimes there is the temptation of learning all or several sub-skills at once. Turns out, approaching your learning this way not only overwhelms you but also makes you lose your focus. The same happens when you learn several skills at the same time.

The reason for breaking a skill into sub-skills. And then learning each sub-skill alone is so you can develop your skill in stages. And finally make better connections.

But if you learn sub-skills at once, you deny yourself that opportunity.

8. Failure to commit yourself

If there is one crucial component to succeed in anything, it’s commitment.

Commitment is being serious enough about something that you make the necessary sacrifices. Like time and attention.

But for most of us, committing ourselves to learn something is a real bear.

In his book, How to Learn Anything Fast, Josh Kaufman mentions lack of commitment as one of the biggest barriers to success.

If you don’t commit yourself, you’re unlikely to succeed in learning your new skill.

9. Surrounding yourself with distractions

Here's the biggest barrier to ever accomplishing anything-let alone a new skill.

Distractions- your phone, the Internet, multitasking, just but a few.

The 20-hour rule states that you need 20 hours of focused practice to learn a new skill.

Focused practice is only possible without distractions.

With distractions around you, you are unlikely to make significant progress if any.

So when practicing, kill distractions.

Turn off your phone. Cut access to the Internet. Focus on one thing at a time. And you’ll see how much progress you make.

10. Not being consistent

If you set time to practice every day, show up on time without fail.

Because the worst mistake you can make is not being consistent.

You see, famous creators and authors confess their prowess to one thing: consistency. And they have developed systems to ensure they are consistent.

Take best-selling author and blogger, Jeff Goins, for instance. Goins confesses to writing 500 words per day for the last seven years. Same place.Same time.Every day.

That habit alone didn't just make him a better writer. It also helped him reach his writing goals.

“Consistency is one of the most fundamental virtue to becoming the person you want to be.” says Benjamin Hardy.

So be consistent in your learning and you’ll discover how much progress you make.

11. Depending on your willpower

Some people only want to learn something when they are motivated.

And while that may be a good thing, it poses a problem.

Motivation runs out. Even worse, the tragedy of motivation is that it focuses on you behavior.

The truth is, environment influences your behaviour. For instance, it’s hard to start writing if you’re surrounded by friends with different interests.

Your environment determines if you will start practicing.

For instance, to practice playing the Ukulele Josh Kaufman placed the guitar close to where he worked. That way, when he wanted to practice, all he had to do was pick it up.

By structuring his environment well, he didn’t have to depend on motivation. Instead, his environment encouraged him to get started.

So rather than depending on willpower, create the right environment.

It’s time

By being aware of and avoiding these mistakes, you almost guarantee yourself success when learning something new.

Make your goals clear. Accept that you will suck at first. Break the skill into sub-skills. Practice one sub-skill at a time. Quit comparing your performance to that of experts. Commit yourself. Be consistent. When practicing; kill distractions. Structure your environment so you don't have to depend on willpower.

And then watch as your learn faster. Become better. And achieve your set goals.

Author's Bio: 

Michael is freelance content writer in the marketing niche. He helps companies connect and sell to their audience without sounding salesy. Check out his Linkedin profile to learn more: