Erika Andersen on Be Bad First, Part 12

In the book, Be Bad First: Get Good at Things Fast to Stay Ready for the Future, Erika Andersen shares her mindset and techniques for learning new things well and quickly.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 9: Do It Now: Making ANEW Your Own

In this chapter, Erika Andersen discusses the techniques we can practice to build our ANEW skills. She offers the following observations and recommendations for us to think about:

Steps for Building Aspiration:

Envision a “hoped-for-future” where we are reaping the benefits of my learning.

Pick a time frame (when we will be much more skilled or knowledgeable in this area).

Imagine ourselves in that future, and then describe what success looks like and feels like (how we think and what we are doing, having gained the benefits from this learning).

Select the key elements (two or three sentences best capture the benefits we are experiencing in this future world of successful learning).

Steps for Building Neutral Self-Awareness:

Make two lists: current strengths/assets and current weaknesses/gaps.

Review what we have written and ask: Is my self-talk accurate?

If we are unsure about some things, note them and ask: What facts do I have to support my point of view?

Use our answers to revise our lists, to make them as “fair witness” as possible.

Note any self-talk we recognize that reflects strong feelings about our strengths or weaknesses – it is also essential to be accurate about those.

Finally, if we make pessimistic self-talk predictions based on our current weaknesses, revise them using the “self-talk of self-belief.”

Steps for Re-engaging Endless Curiosity:

Create two or three “How,” “Why,” or “I wonder” questions about this new area of learning, questions to which we want to find the answers.

Decide an easy-for-us action that we could take to pursue the answer to each question above.

Steps for Willing to be Bad First:

Go through the list of “unsupportive self-talk” items and create a list of our “accepting not-good” self-talk for learning our chosen skill.

Go through the list of supportive (and more accurate) alternatives and create a list of our “self-belief self-talk” for learning the skill we want.

Pick a skill or capability we already have that we believe may be related to our chosen topic. Ask ourselves: How is this skill or ability similar to and different from what might be required in the new situation?