Just Have Fun With It
Cooking is supposed to be fun, so stop sweating the small stuff and trying to make every dish perfect. You will have failures and you will have successes. Just relax and enjoy the learning experience.
When it comes to cooking, I will be the first to admit that 90 percent of the time I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. However, this should not stop you from giving it your best effort. Don't be afraid to explore your cooking skills and see what you can come up with on your own. You never know when you might stumble upon something good by just winging it. I like to call these little blunders "accidentally delicious," because even though you had no idea what you were doing, you still made something edible. You are never too young or too old to start.
Spices, Seasonings, and the Headaches of Measuring
Spices and seasonings can be a double-edged sword. Too much and it ruins a dish, too little and the dish has no flavor. I have a bad habit of never actually measuring out how much of what spice or seasoning I put in a recipe. Instead I just wing it and go based on sight and smell. This sometimes works in my favor and sometimes it completely backfires. But then that is all just part of the fun, isn't it? It is also a habit of improvising on what seasoning I actually use. If not following an actual recipe, I will just look at the different seasonings I have available and go "hmm...... what goes good together?" and throw in different things till I think it is how I want it. You don't have to get everything perfect. Some of the best dishes you can make with nothing but guess work.
Do these vegetables go together? Eh...throw them in and see what happens.
As with spices, vegetables sometimes can go well together and can sometimes completely destroy each other. I try to have a lot of vegetables in my cooking, but sometimes it can be a toss of the coin on if they would actually work together, much less whether or not they will go with the rest of the dish or not. If you don't try though, you will never know. So don't worry and cut up that veggie and toss it in the dish. If it turns out good, then good for you. If it turns out bad...well we know not to do it that way next time.
So...how long do I cook this for, anyways?
Sometimes the hardest part of cooking something is wondering "how long am I supposed to cook this?" Hahaha, been there, done that. Don't worry though, you can look it up online, call a family member and ask for help, or consult a cookbook. If you don't have the time or the option to use any of those helpers, then you can "eye it" and just watch what you are cooking closely. Keep in mind it is better to have meat over done than under done though, and don't feel bad if you burn a few dishes we all do at some point or other.
Recipe says this...I don't have this
At some point or other you have probably found yourself trying to follow a recipe you either found online, in a cookbook, or in a magazine and realized.... I don't have some of these ingredients. Don't sweat it. You can easily improvise and add things that are "similar" to what the recipe calls for that you have ready on hand. Just because you are missing one or two items in the recipe doesn't mean you should just give up. Nine times out of ten, you can substitute one or two things as long as MOST of the ingredients are the same, and no one will even notice that there are some minor differences.
Just have fun with it.
Cooking can be good for un-winding after a long day, bringing family together, and creating a creative outlet for you to be yourself. Just have fun with it. If you have a failure, it is not the end of the world if you have a success it will feel like winning a championship. So no matter what your cooking level, don't be afraid to enter the kitchen and start creating.