Relearning confidence

When practicing a skill that you have forgotten, you may lack the confidence to pick it up again.

However, those doubts are exaggerated. Not remembering is normal, and relearning happens faster than you may expect. Yet, you may still lack self-confidence, which will undermine your self-image and motivation.

@iravarma1

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Self Improvement

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Building and reguilding confidence

Rebuilding confidence is not the same as building confidence.

  • When building confidence, you're trying to do something you're not sure you can do.
  • However, rebuilding confidence means you used to be good, but failed at some point. Getting back is much harder to do.

You think you'll excel, but considering the probability of success and feeling confident is not that easy.

Framing effects happen when the same thing looks different when the context change. If you're a good student in a mediocre class, you feel smarter than if you're a good student in an elite class.

When we improve in a skill, our mindset will start to shift from play to performance. Rebuilding confidence requires you to relive that initial play mindset.

  • Make failures painless. Your first practice should have zero consequences. Do warm-up exercises for low stakes before you put on pressure to perform. However, if you review your skill but continue to get everything wrong, it is a signal to stop.
  • Expect frustration and failure. When you expect failure, it won't bother you so much when performance suffers. Set the bar lower.
  • Trust the rebuilding process. You don't need confidence that you will excel, just confidence that you'll eventually rebuild your confidence.
  • Reframe your expectations. You have no responsibility to live up to other people's expectations of you.

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RELATED IDEAS

The habit-forming philosophy is that you should do things slowly and steadily. Slow and steady leads to a more sustainable strategy for the long-run. But in many areas, this strategy doesn't apply.

  • In many difficult projects, such as starting a business or going back to school, it is necessary to put in a bigger effort at the start.
  • When learning a language, slow and steady may be disastrous initially as it tends to push people to passive learning techniques that are ineffective.

The mistake here is assuming slow or fast always works best, without first checking if your specific strategy will be the best approach.

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How to Take Notes While Reading
  1. Figure out your purpose.
  2. Choose a technique that maximizes your focus on what is most relevant for your purpose. 
  3. Decide whether to optimize for review or retrieval practice.  
  4. If you do need to go back into the text again and again, create clues in your notes that can help you find what you’re looking for faster.

Relearning is an excellent strategy for lifelong learning. The problem is the pain of rebuilding confidence. You may remember a better ability than in reality, so even doing your best with the old skill will seem sub-standard.

However, if you can push through this short-term feeling of inadequacy, relearning starts to look good.

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