Learning and how to do it successfully

E ver since I set out on my Coaching journey, I haven’t stopped learning. Which is OK because one of the things I say I love to do and that I am passionate about for others, is learning.

But learning can be hard, can’t it? And it can be daunting, don’t you think?

Why is it that we expect it to be easy? Is it because we have been doing it all our lives? We learnt to crawl, to walk, to eat, to talk…the list is endless. We are learning machines! So why is it still so hard to get your head around new stuff? Why does my brain feel like it is being mashed, every time I tackle something that is completely new? And why is it, that sometimes you can feel like a total brick whilst others appear to be sponges? Why? Why? Why?

All things are difficult before they are easy. – Thomas Fuller 

It’s all about mindset. Carol Dweck is the main advocate of the Growth Mindset. She discovered, through research, that people with a Fixed Mindset believe that intelligence is fixed. you are either good at something, or you’re not. You are born with that ability and that’s that. Therefore, Fixedies shy away from challenge, give up when they get stuck, feel a sense of overwhelm and hopelessness if they can’t do it. People with a growth Mindset, however believe that you can become good at anything if you apply yourself. Intelligence can be grown. Growthies see challenge as healthy, persevere when the going gets tough and  use failure as learning experiences.


Which one are you?

I know I have been a Fixedie for many years. It was only through Coaching that I began to release my inner Growthie. I may have taught it to the children in my class, but it took me a lot longer to begin living it. I still have to squash my Fixedie side when the going gets really tough.

It is as possible to change your Mindset as it is to learn to do anything else. The first step is to believe that it is possible. Not convinced? Try checking out what Carol Dweck says about it if you need the theory, watch her TED Talk here . It doesn’t just apply to children, although those of us who are parents will find much in it to think about. And where better place to start as role models, than with ourselves.

So take a deep breath! Accept that whatever you are trying to learn is NOT GOING TO BE EASY and that is OK. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it and they probably aren’t so let that one go. You just don’t know how to do it YET!

Then, break down your learning into chunks that work for you. Don’t be pressured by what everyone else is doing. If you are in a study group, a class or a course, let them all take their own journey. You just focus on what you need to do. If necessary avoid those comparison conversations – “Have you done…?” “Oh I’ve finished my…” “I found such and such soooo easy…”. Fingers in the ears and sing the La La La song. Walk A-W-A-Y.

Take each chunk at a time, reminding yourself that you are doing great and rewarding yourself for the effort towards a task well done.

If your brain goes into panic, take a break. Give it a rest.

If you need help, find it. Ask someone.

Keep going. Do not let the fact you are finding it challenging become an excuse for procrastination. Keep pushing onward, little step by little step.

And one day, you will look back on what you have learnt and think, “Wow! Look what I did!”.

And you won’t be such a Fixedie anymore!

If you need some help with your journey from Fixedie to Growthie, get in touch here and let me help. And don’t forget to pop over to my Facebook page  for the odd bit of motivation and support!

Happy Growing x