Monday, August 11, 2014

Conquer Your (Technology) Fears

We all know that technology is constantly changing. Do you feel like you are so far behind that you can’t possibly catch up? Is learning a new skill too daunting for you to even try?
For years, I felt the same way about many things that intimidated me. For example, downhill skiing was something that I had tried when I was younger and failed miserably. When my young sons decided they wanted to join the ski team, watching from the chalet became boring, so I decided to try it again. Although it was difficult at first, I started on the small hills and, after a couple of years, progressed to the more difficult. Did I fall along the way? Of course, but I can now say that I ski with confidence.
Something else that would have intimidated me when I was younger was riding a motorcycle. We had talked about getting a motorcycle when we became empty nesters, but I had never ridden, let alone driven one. My husband was pretty skeptical when I told him I was going to “ride my own”, but at the age of 48, I received my motorcycle endorsement and am now an experienced rider.
How does this apply to technology? It’s all about being brave enough to try something new and not being afraid to fail. Start with baby steps. When I learned to ski, I didn't start on a black diamond hill; I started on the bunny hill and eventually worked my way up. When I started riding motorcycles, I took a class and began on a smaller bike. I soon gained enough confidence in my riding skills to take over my husband’s Harley (and he was more than happy to purchase a new one for himself!).
It might take you a day or a semester, but if you start small, you will gain the confidence you need to get off of the bunny hill or move up to a bigger bike. Begin by using a new technology on just one project. If you don’t know where to start, research your ideas online, and don’t be afraid to ask our Innovation Team for help. With a little practice, you’ll be ready to tackle other technologies with confidence!

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