Learning from others can be difficult for some and I can say I’ve experienced this from both sides. But why is learning from others sometimes a struggle and what are the benefits to being more open to it?
We THINK we already know it all
Sometimes we may believe we already know the information that’s being offered so we dismiss it.
Feel lesser of a person
We feel inferior and perhaps belittled by the information being provided so we put barriers up to try and protect ourselves.
We DO already know it
Perhaps we actually do already know the information being offered so we shut it down because we believe nothing useful will come from being given information we already know.
We haven’t got time
We are in a rush and do not have the time to absorb this right now so hurry it along will you!
Learning something new is hard work
Frustration gets the better of us and it’s easier to shut this shit down than open ourselves up to make sense of it.
“I can’t do it.”
We lack the belief we’ll ever be as knowledgeable as that guy with all the answers.
Concentrating and focus can be tricky
The information offered is boring or we lack motivation and energy to learn.
I know these reasons all too well…
I have used every excuse under the sun when it comes to learning from colleagues, family, friends, teachers and perhaps even strangers. But by doing this we are only preventing ourselves from growing and reaching our full potential.
Respect the person that’s already walked the path
Learn from someone whose already walked the path. This person has already learned what to do and what not to do, which will make our path much more achievable and allow us to reach a greater level of success. This person is invaluable! We should never underestimate that young person or quiet colleague in the corner; who knows what they could teach us!
Learning from others also brings a level of support and we sure do need support when learning something new! If someone is willing to offer support, encouragement and understanding, we would surely be stupid to miss the opportunity. This support could push us the few steps forward that we need.
New information can be totally overwhelming and perhaps yeah, we may consider throwing the towel in but with someone by your side, it can boost motivation and self-belief. I felt a crushing feeling to quit during a guitar lesson but the teacher suddenly took a new approach and played along with me. This worked well for me and I ended the lesson feeling much brighter than when I started.
Don’t underestimate new knowledge
There is always something to be learnt and even the greatest person will not know everything. It’s important to not get ahead of ourselves and stay open to learning something new! Even if it’s tiny, it may unexpectedly benefit us.
I have found people (myself included) can be quick to close the door to new information with an “ah, yeah – I know that” attitude. And maybe we genuinely did know it but sometimes it is said with the intention to prove ourselves; to make ourselves look good or prevent being made to feel small. This outlook needs a shake up! Create a more open approach and ask yourself ‘why am I shutting this down?’ – if it’s because you are trying to make yourself look more knowledgeable than you actually are, then stop! Let the conversation run and see where it takes you.
Learning allows us to grow! And remember self-growth is not narrowed to one area. Our lives are made up of so many layers, including family, home, career, friends, hobbies etc so growth can be achieved anywhere if we are open to it. Growing as a person may deepen our relationships or open career doors! Our life isn’t going to improve from slumping on the sofa and shutting off to the world because we need to learn and adapt to our surroundings to be our best self.
Learning improves performance
Just because we can’t do something now, doesn’t mean we’ll never be able to do it! As we learn and persevere, our brain is rewiring and progressing with us. As they say, practice makes perfect. And this will offer a helping hand with the next new experience as we continue to increase the speed and strength of the nerve impulses in the brain. By learning now, we are investing in our future as the need to learn isn’t going away.
Increase self-esteem and confidence
Don’t you hate it when that colleague or friend is really knowledgeable or good at something and you don’t feel up to the same standard. Thoughts ruminating like ‘why can’t I be that good?’ or ‘I’ll never be able to do that like them!’. For starters we shouldn’t compare…but we do, so how best to get over it than to learn. Maybe that means learning to accept ourselves and love the things we have or perhaps learning to improve our skills in that area. It’s okay to be inspired by others but it shouldn’t come at the cost of our self-esteem. Learn from others to grow but also learn to accept!
Life is about learning – as things change, we need to grow, adapt and accept our situation. There’ll always be someone else with a similar experience who may be kind enough to help lead the way; we just need to accept this help and appreciate how it’ll assist our journey of learning.
You may also like to read more about learning and why we should never give up! – Don’t give up learning