What is it about learning that takes so long for some and goes so quickly for others? I’ve studied learning theories for years; the variables are endless. In the final analysis, it boils down to one common statement: learning is unique to each individual. Parents know this as they watch their children learn to feed themselves, walk and talk. No one goes through learning in exactly the same way. Wise parents give their children room to try, practice and make mistakes, knowing that the missteps are tools in learning what does work.
Interestingly some of us lose sight of this truth, developing unrealistic expectations of ourselves that we apply to all aspects of our lives. I’ve been spending the past year learning about mindset and it’s affect on our actions. I have also been at work changing mine (mindset) in several areas; one of which is how fast (or slowly) I learn something and what I tell myself in the process. This actually relates in a big way to why I have been silent in the blogosphere for this past year. Without diving into too much detail, I have spent a great deal of time attempting to learn how to develop my own website using lots of tools and support services available. Notice I said “attempting”. In this process I learned several things: html code is full of details; I have an unrealistic mindset of how quickly I can learn and apply new knowledge; I don’t give myself much grace.
I don’t know if you struggle with an unrealistic mindset/expectation, but I’ll tell you what, it’s a burden! How I think affects how I act. No one “sees” my thoughts but they do see my actions and re-actions. I am hard on myself when I can’t do something quickly and correctly. I have said many unkind things to myself that I WOULD NEVER say to another human being. This internal dialogue leaks out in ways I had not seen until I started to learn about Mindset. Anybody else like that? Where does a negative mindset come from? I have recognized that knowing how I formed a negative, unrealistic mindset is not as valuable as knowing how to change my mindset. I’ve also learned I can’t change my mindset without encouragement and accountability.
Knowing where I am (in this case a negative, unrealistic mindset) and where I want to be (speaking grace to myself when I can’t do something quickly/correctly) has been a big part of my learning along the Way this year. People close to me know that when I have learned something I think is worth sharing I am ready to burst with excitement to share! I’ve decided to use my blogging as a venue to share what I’ve been learning, ever hopeful that it will be a benefit to others. As you see me writing more, I’d love to hear from you. Or if you are the quiet, vicarious learner just subscribe to my RSS feed. Either way, I’d appreciate knowing if what I have learned is making a difference for others.