If you consider all the things you do in a single day through the lens of learning and development, you will begin to see the wide range of ways that you engaged with and improved upon your knowledge and skills.
You perhaps learnt information from a website, or a newspaper, a book or a conversation with someone. Perhaps learning new ideas being explored in your favourite television programme (non-fiction or fictional).
We go through life taking in information and incorporating it into our understanding. We remove information that is no longer important or up to date as new information supersedes it. We rarely notice it happening.
When you feel that you’re struggling to learn, you can amend your outlook by focusing on a learning perspective, rather than the subject you’re having difficulty with. A shift in attitude is sometimes all you need.
There are many reasons why you may feel unable to learn. Perhaps from poor past experiences in schools, fear of examinations, or not yet finding an approach that has served you well in learning.
That’s where the lens of learning and development comes in. Through this lens, you consider your vested interests in what you’re trying to learn. Honing your focus allows you to meet the needs of your development and understanding in order to find ways of engaging that actually work for you.
Once you acknowledge that you can learn in an autonomous and informal way, you have the potential to find new and exciting ways of engaging with other areas of learning you would like to explore. This, in turn, will help you accept that your goals are not out of reach. Ambitious, yes. Impossible, no. Exciting, yes. A bothersome slog, no.
My challenge to you is this. Spend a day looking for the varied learning experiences you engage with:
- Make note of the topic/skill you were learning about
- Why you were engaged/interested
- What approach did you take to engaging with the topic?
- Are there alternative ways you could have engaged with the topic?
- Are there any further questions raised through the learning experience?
- If so, are you are interested enough to do any further research or learning regarding the outstanding questions raised?
- If so how will you learn more about those things?
- Are there any patterns in the way that you have been learning during the day? any approaches that you seem to commonly go to? Would it benefit you to look into other alternative ways of leaning that might suit you better?
Once you have considered your process of engagement, you may be surprised by the picture that emerges of your ability to learn. If you can harness your interest and engagement and if you want to learn more, there is nothing to hold you back.
Any time you doubt your ability to learn, come back to your active analysis of learning. This process will silence and firmly convince your inner critic that you are capable of learning and developing.
Armed with that knowledge, you can move forward however you wish. Enjoy the learning journey!