Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday Testimonials: Give Yourself the Green-light to Learning with Confidence

That's me experiencing my first Kickapoo moment off Orchard Road, Singapore. It was cause for celebration!

There is no reason why learning should not be a positive, enterprising and spirited experience. There is a growing body of research and discussion that has concluded that once we as individuals recognize the hidden negativity that prevents us from achieving our goals and dreams that doors open and new horizons we denied ourselves suddenly come within grasp.

In my years as an educator I've been genuinely shocked at times by the sad stories I've heard from students of all ages. Some here in Hawaii spoke plainly that they were raised to believe that because of where they lived, where they went to high school, and yes, even where their ancestors originated from that life-long learning was not theirs. 

Nonsense!

When I taught personal and public speaking classes at an international school in Honolulu I asked my students about there past experiences with speech teachers. Almost all admitted that they had been humiliated by previous instructors, much to my horror.

 They quickly learned that they would not be shamed in my classroom. No way. 

In these instances and many others my students learned that it was up to them. That is, part of there job in transiting to being self-directed, excited and passionate lifelong learners was to have an honest talk with themselves. 

Before they (and you) can eliminate those sub-conscious walls that impede your progress you need to recognize what they are and how they got there.

I love to travel, learn new things, get out of my comfort zone, read new books -and old ones, too! I deduced a long time ago that unless I was going to get a second -go-around (i.e., reincarnation) this was the only life I was going to get. 

So, if I want to experience a life that is interesting I'd better learn that I was not going to let anything -or anyone- stand in my way. 

So, what does this have to do with you? Good question.

Auto-suggestion is one method you can use. This technique gives you the ammunition to toss out outdated and harmful attitudes and substitute them with new, affirming ones. It is a seed that is part of the initial process of self-accepting a new, positive self-image. Over time you can reconstruct and transfigure your attitudes and expectations. 

A student that used this quite successfuly referred to auto-suggestion as her mental and emotional spring cleaning. She likened the experience to one she was tasked to do in an earlier chapter in her life working in the retain sales sector: taking inventory. So, if you have stale attitudes and notions holding you back put those on the "clearance rack," and move forward!

Here are a series of self-confidence building suggestions. You can do these anywhere and at your leisure:

- When I learn I am excited!
- When I feel excited I want to learn more.
- I understand what I am learning. If I do not I am not afraid to ask questions. 
- Learning and remembering are easier for me.
- Learning keeps me active and alert. 
- There is so much to learn! I am thrilled by the diversity of it all!
- Each day and everyday is filled with opportunities to learn to grow and apply it all to my life. 

Remember, American poet and author Robert Frost once said, "Something we were withholding made us weak until we found it was ourselves." 

Jeffrey Bingham Mead is the founder and president of The Pacific Learning Consortium. 

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