You are not stupid and you will probably be a very successful hacker based upon your mindset. Testing your hacking skills on systems that you own are critical to understanding the footprint you will leave behind when working with a target system. Many “hackers” can effect a remote server but what evidence are they really leaving behind? Getting caught for a hack is not often considered a success.
I would like to also suggest [DVWA](http://dvwa.co.uk/) as a platform for testing some of the techniques that you learn. It is a web server designed to be vulnerable so you can practice attacks.