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Learning


I am a woman in process. I'm just trying like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience, and learn from it. Life is never dull.
Oprah Winfrey


Whether we realise it or not, we are learning all the time, from the moment we pop out of the womb until we shuffle off this mortal coil.

There are many types of learning, ranging from the formal ‘educational’ style of taking classes to gain new or develop more knowledge, through to informal play, via observational learning, seeing how someone else does something and copying them.

It is important to recognise that learning is a process and at its best, one which never ends.  If we are learning skills, there are always more ways in which we can hone and use them.  As we go through life, there are lessons every day from the momentous to the small; how to be a parent, in a relationship, apply for a mortgage, drive a car, unblock a sink, play chess, sew on a button...

Another important thing to recognise is that if we are learning, we are naturally coming from a place of not knowing.  As many of my readers know, I dance the Argentine Tango which I have done for about 7 years now.  I try and get to a class every week because although I can dance, I want to get even better.  One of the things which I always find amusing in the class is how frustrated people get when they do something wrong, as though they are bad people.  But if you could do it and do it as well as you wanted, why bother going to the class?  As Pablo Picasso said, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it”.

In the same way as we learn from making mistakes in formal learning, if we have the right attitude, that is exactly the same as in life.  People often beat themselves up for things which haven’t worked (or which haven’t worked out the way they expected it to).  This is potentially damaging as it can begin a mindset of “I’m no good at...” which can inhibit future development.  (With me, it used to be maths!)  Instead, take Thomas Edison’s quote on board: “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”  Don’t waste time blaming yourself; put that energy into embracing the opportunity to learn how to do it better the next time.

Or, to throw in another quote, this time from Samuel Beckett, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”


If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you, check out how we could work together and get in touch.

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