Learning things
Earlier this month, on what would have been Buddy Holly's 77th birthday, I was part of Britain's biggest band, Guitars on the Beach at Lyme Regis. It was a record breaking attempt at having more than 1800 people playing a strummed instrument. The good news is that we broke the record set by the USA with 2260 of us playing Buddy Holly's Rave On. It was an amazing day even though it rained and we all got soaked just as we had gathered on the sandy beach. We had our own group of approximately 20 friends and pupils of my husband, aged from 8 to over 80 playing guitars and ukuleles. 

For me learning to play the ukulele is something new. My husband is an accomplished player on both the ukulele and guitar. He gave me my bright, sunshine yellow ukulele as an early Christmas present a couple of years ago but I've never really got round to mastering it until this event. Once we had registered the motivation to learn the song increased, even to the point of me getting up at 6.15 one morning to practise as that really was the only spare time I had that day. 
Not only did I have to learn, amongst other things, the chords, the chord sequence but also the action of my right hand strumming! I am not a natural musician. How did I learn? What was my strategy? Well quite simply I watched my husband and others who could play. I learned from those that I wanted to be like. I asked how they remembered things then I tried it out for myself. When I first started it felt very awkward, even odd but I continued to practise and slowly but surely the more I did the more I remembered and the more automatic it became. I'm pleased to say that on the day my hands and fingers seemed to move without me thinking about it. I kept up with Britain's biggest band.

We learn everything by practising, repeating it again and again until it becomes automatic: walking, riding a bike, even fears and anxieties are learnt. If you want to learn something, for example a new language or instrument, what do you do? You go and learn from people who are experienced and accomplished at it. You discover how they do it and then put it into practice yourself. Therefore when you want to overcome a fear or anxiety go and talk to people who haven't got it. Question them. Learn what they do. Learn what their strategies are and start practising them. Avoid people who speak your language of fear or anxiety. Mix with people who are like you WANT to be, copy them, learn a new, more helpful language!