There’s a myth out there that if you don’t learn something before you’re seven, you won’t likely ever learn it.
To be sure, those that have started studying a foreign language later in life have a much harder time.
When I was an English teacher, I found that those that had started studying English very young, for example, had almost no accent, even though they’d been studying for only a few years.
On the other hand those that had been studying for twenty years or more, yet started in high school or later, still had a noticeable accept despite their command over native level vocabulary and grammar.
This keeps a lot of adult learners from embracing new ideas as much as kids.
Kids seemingly soak up stuff like a sponge, while the older we get, the harder it is to learn new things.
But what if this has nothing to do with our learning ability? What if there’s something else going on?
After all, it’s not like our brains magically morph from “Read/Write” to “Read Only” once we get to a certain age.
But one thing does change. We slowly become less and less curious, adventurous and willing to take risks.
And we slowly become more afraid of leaving our comfort zone.
What if you could learn just as much now as you could when you were a kid, if only you could take “child like” risks?
When kids make a “mistake” it’s fun. When adults make a “mistake” it’s horrifying.
One of the secrets of learning, on an unconscious level is that any mistakes we make can teach us much much more than our successes.
You try something, get it right, you really don’t learn anything. It could be skill, it could be dumb luck. You aren’t really sure what you did.
But if you try something, and mess up a little bit, you can go back and fine tune your performance.
After all, this is how all of us learned to talk, walk, tie our shoes, ride a bike, etc.
Think about this next time you’re trying anything new.
Allow yourself to screw up. Laugh at yourself. Have fun. Try again.
You’ll be surprised.