There are a lot of people out there that struggle with computers. It’s a common theme that I hear at every networking event I attend. It gets posted on my Facebook page and I get emails and phone calls from people that tell me they aren’t confident in their skills. Many ask me how I did it so I figured I would share that today. So below are the top 5 ways that you too can become more confident in your computer skills.
- Practice makes perfect! I know its cliché, it’s an awful saying, but it’s true. How did I get good? I guess you could say I got addicted to it. How did Tiger Woods get good at golf or Wayne Gretzky good at hockey? Hours and hours of practice. They found something they loved and they spent hours perfecting their craft. The same is true for computers really. It’s about spending time at it, trying things, making mistakes and trying again. Eventually you figure it out, you get good at it and your computer skills no longer slow you down.
- Trial and error. I just did a webinar about this very topic! Even if you aren’t addicted to computers and you have better things to do in your spare time, the best way to learn is simply to try. The computer will not blow up if you make a mistake while putting together your PowerPoint presentation. It just won’t. You may mess up a slide or two, but that’s easy to fix. It’s a matter of trying it, figuring out how to get what you want and then remembering what the heck you did so you can do it again another day.
- Have some small successes. Did you figure it out after a while? Probably. Did it take you much longer than it should have? Did it frustrated you all to bits? Yep. But you did it! Take some pride in the fact that you did it. Whether or not it took you ten times as long as it might have taken somebody else is irrelevant. You figured it out and that’s all that really matters. Be proud of yourself and remember that next time you have to do it won’t take as long.
You know that program you can now use with your eyes closed? Yeah that one that used to take you hours to figure out. You have it now don’t you? You know how to do it and it doesn’t take you hours, in fact you don’t even have to think when you use it. Well guess what? You can do that with any program you want to. Getting comfortable just takes time.
- Be okay with making mistakes. This is a toughie. It’s hard to accept that we screw up sometimes. But we do. Making mistakes in computers, ruining that PowerPoint slide, mucking up the Excel spreadsheet, stuff like this happens. But there are ways to avoid disaster like saving often and CTRL-Z (undo your mistake, it’s like a mulligan only better!). Once you learn some simple tricks like these it’s easy to feel confident that even if you do mess up you’ll be able to go back and fix it.
- It’s okay to ask for help! When I first started with computers everybody was learning. Windows was brand new. The Internet was still an infant. There weren’t experts all over the place, geeks that knew everything and had blogs and forums full of information. It didn’t exist. I basically had to figure it out on my own. I learned by a combination of simple need and trial and error. I learned by doing. But you don’t have to. You have resources like myself and many other people just like me. The Internet is chalk full of forums, blogs and FAQ’S, whole websites dedicated to helping you with your computer troubles. You need to do nothing more than ask for help.
Never be ashamed of your questions either! We all start somewhere. We were all new at one time. It was foreign to me too at one point. I still run across things that I don’t know. I still have to find people that specialize in certain areas to help me. It happens even to me! And it’s okay! If it’s okay for me, it should be okay for you too.
Always be proud of how far you’ve come! You’ve come a long way baby! And you will continue to improve. Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep asking those questions! Be proud of small successes! Don’t let anybody tell you different!
Now be proud! You did it!
If you have questions feel free to contact me using the information below.
Laura Bungarz Computer Training
212-207 Fort Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 1E2