Speaking personally, I approached photography the same way I approach any new skill. I know that there will be people better/worse than me and best not to look at it like a competition.
So I went out just being curious about the craft and move from strength to strength and tried out a few styles and see which ones I enjoy.
That said I had a few defining moments in my progress arc which went something like. >learn to shoot manual
Probably the most valuable gem I took from a beginner thread in /p/ back in 2007 and that it is worth persevering through.>using light to your advantage
Golden hour blue hour etc. > everything in the frame is your responsibility
Really opened up a rabbit hole with compositions.
Then its just out new things, like studio portraiture, macro, underwater photography, animal portraiture etc etc.
In short I don't think I've even got over Mt Stupid yet. But I'm having fun along the way.