I am paralyzed to learn something new.

TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,079
786
St. Paul, Minnesota
Hey guys,


This is an issue that has plagued me for a little while. Would like your input on why this might be, and how to overcome it.

There is a particular skill that is pretty vital to my career that I know I need to learn, but for some reason or another I just haven't gotten around to it. That skill is advanced surface modeling. Every time I make plans to learn it, I fall through and procrastinate on learning it. It's like my brain is so scared of learning it, that I can't.


I have an entry level position in my field, but to advance I definitely need to learn 3D modeling. This has been going on for YEARS.


I feel like there is SO MUCH to learn about it, that I don't even know where to start. How do I motivate myself, work past the fear, and start SOMEWHERE to get to where I want to be with this?
 
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annk

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 18, 2004
13,955
5,462
Somewhere over the rainbow
Hey guys,

Every time I make plans to learn it, I fall through and procrastinate on learning it. It's like my brain is so scared of learning it, that I can't....How do I motivate myself, work past the fear...?
This is what stuck out for me about your post. Is it maybe a fear of failing, of not being able to learn what you need to learn, that is quietly holding you back? Or a fear that you might learn this without it helping you progress career-wise?

For me, procrastination is either because I truly doesn't want to do something, or due to a fear I have of something. So I think you might have hit the nail on the head when you mentioned fear. Could be a really interesting mental exercise to think about exactly what might be the underlying fear. Sometimes fear THINKS it's protecting us from something, but it's actually just getting in the way.

Just my 2 cents - take it with a great big grain of salt! Your post got me interested - good luck!!
 

McTinker

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2020
12
6
Been there, and.. still being there :)
It's like sport; the hardest part is getting off the couch. So it helps to make this step as easy as possible. What helps is looking at (the right) tutorials at youtube. They make it look easy what can spark your enrhousiasm; that looks easy, I wonder if I can do that too.
What also helps is make it very easy and pleasant to practice. Install the software on your best computer, the one with the comfy chair in front of it, use easy accessible software like Blender to learn. Make a situation wher you can try something within a minute, and bring a pot of tea or snacks to make you stay.
If you want to do something good, make it nice to do.
 
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scubachap

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2016
186
314
UK
We all suffer from this. Some good advice so far - but just to add... I think the fear mentioned is one of the keys in that come the crunch we often think that despite all the learning we still won't be able to do it for real 'properly' in the short time a live job often has. So to get round this, and this is something that has worked for me in the past, is to suggest that you can do a job (perhaps for free, or at a steep discount, or if you're employed perhaps a bonus spare time job for your employer etc) but that your proviso is that there has to be quite a long lead time on the project. It means you can relax knowing that whatever comes up you can take the time to figure out any issues and learn as you go. But, and this is the important part, because someone is eventually expecting it, you still have to do it.
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,556
10,281
Vilano Beach, FL
With some skills (whether professional or personal), when there's a big initial learning curve, it can be really daunting, so much that you just don't make the attempt. For example: running vs. golf, the former you can probably do, now you may not be the fastest, or have the most endurance, but you can engage in the act of running - you go put on some shoes, go out and run. Whereas something like golf, requires a certain basic skill level to even go out and "play a round of golf", there's a lot of different, I guess I'd call them, "sub-skills", like driving, chipping, putting, club selection for each, etc.

There's also another phenomena I'd call "associated skillsets", that I think provides either a good entry point (or when lacking, a blocker ...) For example, I'm a developer, I've been involved in programming, architecture, etc., for decades, I've used dozens of different languages, frameworks, dev tools/IDEs, I get most design patterns/concepts, so when I'm picking up something new, I almost always have a comfortable starting point.

However - and heck, this is in the same wheelhouse as the OP's desired skills - years ago, when I went to learn Unity and Unreal Engine, I easily got the programming part, but the 3D concepts were kind of foreign to me (especially on the presentment layer, i.e., shaders, texture maps), so there was a lot of initial brain clouds, I kept kind of not getting to a good level of understanding, I just knocked around and bailed. Finally, I had a killer opp in the near future, and my partner at the time had a great idea for a prototype, so the combined push of revenue + specific project / results nudged me enough where I got a good understanding of fundamentals, had a few major breakthroughs, and once I got to that point, I got really effective in a relatively short amount of time.

Anyway, good luck, hope some of this helps and motivates :)
 

AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
4,709
21,459
I feel like there is SO MUCH to learn about it, that I don't even know where to start. How do I motivate myself, work past the fear, and start SOMEWHERE to get to where I want to be with this?
When I started learning to 3D model, what helped was not really trying to form a plan. Find one tutorial or series in the program of your choice, and follow it. Repeat whenever you're able to.

It's helpful if there's an obvious end goal. Like, Andrew Price has a series of Blender tutorials that go from having never touched the program to modeling a photorealistic donut.

As comprehensive as a textbook or a longterm plan can be, with something you find daunting, it's nice to get something validating out of each step as you progress.
 
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TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,079
786
St. Paul, Minnesota
I want to thank you guys for the thoughts and advice. Since making this thread I've gone through the first 80 pages of the 350 for Rhino3D's introduction manual. I'm going to try to make this a habit to keep practicing and become the best I can.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,913
1,607
My guess is that you feel overwhelmed because you subconsciously want to master all of it at once. I get paralyzed like that too when learning new things. Daunting skills and tasks are always made of smaller ones. Bite off a chunk that you can handle and learn that, then learn another piece.
 
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jeyf

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2009
1,699
761
STEM careers tend to fade early in life. I would encourage tech employees to think in terms of a second gig early. Buy real estate, start a chain of local restaurants / barber shop, chain of car detail shops, some sort of fulfillment operation. Balance the skill set in your family such as a husband or wife with a moderately active law practice. You can drag your STEM career out to its complete end but it will likely stop 10 years before you would really want to retire.

everyone is different
i would suggest the OP delete some stuff out of his life to make room for his studies.
Just me tho.
Best of luck!
 
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TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,079
786
St. Paul, Minnesota
Got back from a trip to miami and my progress has stalled. Only on page 113 now. Continuing practicing and keeping up the momentum starting today.
 

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,535
7,488
New Hampshire, USA
STEM careers tend to fade early in life. I would encourage tech employees to think in terms of a second gig early. Buy real estate, start a chain of local restaurants / barber shop, chain of car detail shops, some sort of fulfillment operation. Balance the skill set in your family such as a husband or wife with a moderately active law practice. You can drag your STEM career out to its complete end but it will likely stop 10 years before you would really want to retire.

everyone is different
i would suggest the OP delete some stuff out of his life to make room for his studies.
Just me tho.
Best of luck!
I would have to agree.

It's almost impossible to keep up with all the advances and people will eventually fall behind on the tech curve.

There is definitely age discrimination in the STEM fields but I think it mostly has to do with people falling behind on the tech advances that occur.

For the majority of people in STEM jobs, assume that you will not get the position that you desire in STEM jobs if you become unemployed after the age of 50.
 

McTinker

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2020
12
6
Got back from a trip to miami and my progress has stalled. Only on page 113 now. Continuing practicing and keeping up the momentum starting today.
I read a story about this; airplanes use the most fuel when they taking off or during landing. It's better to keep in the air as long as possible. If you read 80 pages in one run, which is a big start, and then leave it alone for a few days, you have to start again. And because you make such a big effort the first time, you think you're obliged to do the same everytime again.
To keep in the air, and not wasting too much energy by starting up again and again, make sure you read regularly. Even if it's for half an hour. Just to keep in the air. Half an hour is also easier to plan, just after dinner right before bedtime. Don't ask too much of yourself, like knowing exactly what you read. The most important thing right now is building the routine of reading.

It's a process of trying and trying and.... well, trying again. Keep going.
 
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