People are more encouraged than ever to self-learn or self-study. And, I’m not talking about formal online schooling.
I’m talking about delving into digital libraries or taking voluntary skill courses and learning at our own pace, by ourselves, in the comfort of our own homes.
More information than ever is available freely or very affordably online. Many of us are taking advantage of this and choosing to self-learn more about our careers, passions, interests, and hobbies.
Is this effort worth it, though, and is being self-taught a good thing?
In this article, I explored precisely this topic.
Here’s Why Being Self Taught Is Good:
Being self-taught is good as it allows you to learn more about your passions and what you actually care about. This enables you to truly master a topic or skill as you can go beyond what is traditionally taught.
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Being self-taught gives us more freedom to explore subjects that pique our interests more deeply than regular or formal schooling would allow. We don’t have to only scratch the surface then swiftly move on to another subject like in traditional school settings.
Most of the individuals who are seen as the greatest in their field were self-taught in their areas of expertise.
They were able to push the boundaries, and since there was no blueprint or formal education for them to follow, they had to self-learn to advance.
Being self-taught allows us to freely learn any discipline we want, however much we want to. It can help us discover what we are passionate about learning and our potential career paths.
Moreover, self-learning helps us hone our self-discipline, become more independent, and be more relaxed as we learn.
Why Is It Better To Learn by Yourself?
Two of the main reasons it can be better to learn alone are control and lack of distractions.
As mentioned above, self-learning gives you freedom over what you want to learn. Still, this isn’t the only thing. It also gives you control over various factors involved with studying. These include:
- When you learn
- Where you study
- How often you study
- Who teaches you or where you get your information from
- What you use to learn
Lack of Distractions
Unlike in classroom settings, you are free from noisy people or anything else that might disrupt the class. Concentrating and fully immersing yourself in what you are learning also helps you better understand what you are learning.
What Are the Benefits of Being Self-Taught?
Being self-taught offers a wealth of advantages. If you are still unsure about going down the self-learning route, here are some benefits I encountered that might convince you to try it, too.
You are your own boss and can go at your own pace. You set the difficulty, the time, the subject matter – it all depends on what you want and are comfortable with.
I breeze through topics I find easy, concentrate more on complex subjects, and even skip things that I have absolutely no interest in. Doing these things helped lessen frustrations and boredom while learning.
No Peer Shaming and Comparisons
Studying solo frees me from any peer shaming and comparison. You don’t have to pressure yourself to catch up to your classmates, perform better than them, or strive to please your teachers.
I can safely drop what I am learning about, whether permanently or temporarily, in favor of something else without worrying about what others may say. This helped boost my self-confidence and self-esteem, which also helped boost my motivation to learn.
Engages Curiosity as Motivation
Curiosity may have killed the cat – but never forget that satisfaction brought them back!
Self-learning encourages us to nurture our curiosity about different subject matters. No matter how obscure the topic may be, you are free to learn it as deeply as you want to.
Since I am learning about something I’m deeply curious about, I am more motivated to see it through. Instead of forcing myself, I actually look forward to learning more and so absorb more knowledge.
Study Anywhere and Anytime
Thanks to digital technology and the internet, self-education can be done almost anywhere and at any time. You are not limited to just five consecutive days a week, from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
If your mind is more awake at night, you can study at night. If you learn more while taking frequent breaks, you can do so. If you need a change of surroundings, you can take your laptop or tablet and go to a cafe, library, or anywhere else that suits your needs.
You can listen to music as you study or even use different learning strategies like watching Youtube or documentaries.
Self-education helps cultivate self-discipline. After all, having that much freedom and control over your learning will only work by practicing self-discipline.
As I became more self-disciplined in managing my studies, I found myself practicing self-discipline in other areas of life as well. It helped me stay focused, persevere against challenging tasks, and push myself forward.
Is It Hard To Be Self-Taught?
Yes, being self-taught can be challenging – but it does get easier. Like any other task or activity you might undertake, self-learning will be the most difficult when you are just starting out.
Think of it like going to the gym or doing yoga – your body will protest at first.
Still, with repetition and regular practice, it all gets easier and more natural!
Suddenly having no concrete structure to follow may feel like being thrown off the deep end. You need to develop and improve your self-discipline to follow through on your learning.
Recommended Reading: Is learning a skill or an ability?
What Is a Self-Taught Person Called?
Any self-taught person is an autodidact.
Autodidacts are curious and passionate go-getters. They are people who constantly want to improve their skills, learn new concepts, or gain a better understanding of subjects they encounter are all autodidacts.
Almost every individual is an autodidact in some way. I graduated from a traditional school, yet I find myself learning a new skill or exploring a subject I learned even deeper whenever I can.
Picking up life skills on your own, such as learning to fix a car or how to do taxes, is a form of self-learning. Don’t be discouraged if you find self-study hard at first. Chances are, you have already been practicing it lightly throughout your life – all you need to do now is keep at it and improve!