This month we’re exploring the idea of UNLEARNING. Think of it like tending to your garden and pulling out the weeds. Those weeds just appeared there. You didn’t plant them. You might like some of them, but most of them need to be culled.
This is exactly what we have to do as humans, but these weeds are thoughts, patterns, assumptions, and cultural practices that were handed to us. They often were planted in our minds as young people when our gardens--i.e., our minds and our psyches--were developing at such a fast pace with outside influences from media, our parents, teachers, etc.
Just like pulling weeds in a garden, we need to clear ourselves out of the things that don’t serve us. Here’s an exercise you can use to get started here.
What do I believe, think, say, or do? Where did I learn this? Hold the mirror up to your life and take stock of some of your beliefs, patterns, and habits that you’ve picked up along the way. Write them out. Include at least 10.
What of this doesn’t serve me? Am I cool with all of these? Do they support you in living the richest life possible? If you find some that don’t, strike a line through them.
What of this does serve me? Some of what you’ve learned probably does serve you. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!
And once you’ve gone through this exercise, you can also ask yourself:
What else do I want to plant in my garden? What are some areas you want to expand your own learning and development in, so as to have the richest life possible in terms of career, relationships, and well being? Make a list of these.
There is great media out there on this topic. Here are a couple of TED talks that look at unlearning from different angles. This one on unlearning for unleashing new depths of creativity. And this one on unlearning to create new breakthroughs and growth in career and everywhere.
Let’s shed some learning this month! It will help you clear the way for new possibilities.
Sean is the CEO of Joy Riders, a company designed to help people find ways to create more joy within themselves and in their communities. He is a professional life and leadership coach, who leads trips of people around the world, loves to identify wildlife, and is a total map geek.