Oh, it’s just like riding a bike!

That’s what people say when they refer to something they have learned and will now endeavour to do again, even if they haven’t done it for a long time. Usually without thinking about it. It implies just hopping on and it will be okay.

But what this expression doesn’t relate to is how ‘riding a bike’ was learned. You didn’t learn it by reading about it, you didn’t learn it by doing more research, you didn’t learn it by watching yet another video about it. You learned it, by doing it!

Actually, you learned by not doing it. You learned by falling off, by being wobbly, by falling off again and again and again. You may have learned with stabilisers. And when you took those off, you had to learn again. You kept falling off, you kept getting back on. You learned by persevering.

The same with eating with a spoon.

Or driving a car.

Or cooking.

Or learning to walk.

Just ask how long that took you. Did you ever sit down and say to yourself “this walking business just isn’t for me! I’ll never be any good at it…” No. You didn’t! You just got up again and you learned from every single time you fell over.

It turns out that changing any form of behaviour is much the same. You do it again and again and again. Repetition works! And eventually, the new thing starts to stick more and more. It doesn’t happen overnight. It would be lovely if it did but it’s not reality.

So creating any kind of new neurological pathway in your brain starts with being willing to fall off a few times first. The key words here are being willing to fall off.

Then you can start learning from every single time it didn’t work. Well, it did work, just not the way you expected it to. Or exactly the way you planned it but it worked regardless.

It seems this strategy for learning is true for most things in life.

So, go on, do it again. You’ll get there.