One of the best ways to learn something very quickly is to forget about worrying if you’re properly demonstrating that you’re smart.
Back when you were a kid or young adult, you’d get together with other people who wanted to learn the same thing you wanted to learn. None of you knew anything more than the most basic concepts, but you’d learn rapidly as a group anyway. You’d connect ideas, team up on the literature, experiment together, whatever. And it worked really well.
It worked well because none of you were worried about demonstrating to the others that you already knew stuff. You weren’t worried about posturing, because you came into the scenario with the awareness that none of you knew anything – that’s why you were there!
As adults, especially oh-so-professional adults, this is really hard to do. If I want to level up my skill set, the best thing to do is find other people who also want to do that and say “wanna study together?”
Lots of people can’t do it. They can’t shake the facade long enough to just say “I want to learn.” They have to preen and prance and pretend that they’re already so knowledgeable that they’re above learning anything new. Some hidden fear exists that if anyone ever discovers that we aren’t infallible already – gasp – that this knowledge will be used against us, pointing us out as phonies. Our impostor syndrome keeps us from learning enough to not be impostors.
Well, nerts to that. I don’t know beans, but I want to. Wanna study together?