Learning in a Protected Environment

One way of improving one’s skill or overcoming resistance to performing something perceived as being difficult by a person is to first attempt doing it in a protected environment or in a slighter way.

Overcoming Shyness

For instance, a person who is afraid to speak in front of a live audience can first try speaking in front of his friends. He may then try speaking repeatedly in front of a small audience. After many repetitions that are stress free speaking in front of a small audience with confidence this person can then move on to speaking in front of a larger audience.

The repeated experiences he had speaking in front of his friends and in front of a small audience will help build his confidence with in a protected environment. If on the other hand he had went directly from total shyness to facing a large audience from the first time this may have caused him extreme phobia and would not have helped him overcome his fear nor gain any positive experience to build his confidence.

Learning Driving

Another example is when taking driving lessons. One should learn first in a protected area or on side streets that have low traffic. Mastery of driving should be gained on such streets first. After a good period of time and practice driving on such low traffic streets one can then move ahead to drive in more busy streets. The reason behind this is not just to avoid fatal accidents but also to allow the learner to gain skill in the basic driving techniques without being overwhelmed by too much to deal with at the same time.

Learning a New Language

A third example is when learning a new language. It is a good idea that a teacher would first use a controlled set of vocabulary before widening it up to a larger set so that the student can be able to absorb the language and handle it in a manageable way rather than being overwhelmed from the beginning with an endless flow of unintelligible new vocabulary.

Complex and Difficult Things

Although not everything that needs to be learned must be learnt in a protected environment first for best results, yet there exists many things that do. Mostly such things are those that are complex or difficult and for which the learner has great resistance towards or fear from attempting to do.

What have you managed to learn in the past using the protected environment method and eventually became proficient in?

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