As I write, much-needed rain is falling. The cracks in the earth are slowly filling and the drooping plants are rising. I am grateful for this welcome break of the dry spell.
I recently heard Aiko Bethea, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) educator, attorney, and executive coach, speak about the benefits of adopting a Learner’s Mindset. Because her words were so moving and her message applicable to so many different areas of our lives, I decided to share my understanding with you.
As always, I value hearing how this information lands, so please write back if you wish.
A Recipe for a Learner’s Mindset
Adopted from the words of Aiko Bethea during her interview on the Dare to Lead podcast.
1. Remove all expectations of perfection.
The biggest roadblock to learning is expecting to get everything right the first time you try. If you already knew how to do something, then you would not be learning! Instead, expect to fail – big time. Recognize that making mistakes, feeling frustrated, and having self-doubt are all part of learning. Ask yourself the following:
- What do I tell myself about failure?
- How do I anticipate people responding to my learning process?
- What is my reaction to failure? Do I expect other people to rescue me? Do I quit?
- What do I need to hear, do, or ask to stay engaged in the learning process?
If you choose to be humble, then you are open to learning from ANYONE. Acting with humility gives you the opportunity to be quiet and listen more and to be open to new ideas. Being humble helps us get out of our own way. We no longer have to prove something or pretend we understand something. To support an attitude of humility, ask yourself the following questions:
- What belief, thought or feeling is getting in my way of listening?
- If I were to let go of one thing getting in my way, what might I learn?
Learning is really about staying curious. If you have ever spent time with a two-year old, then you know their favorite word is “why.” Two-year olds are naturally curious about the world around them and ask A LOT of questions. (This is why parents of small children look tired.) The small child doesn’t pretend to know all the answers, rather they want to seek all the answers. One of the best times to stay curious is after a fail. This is where the most learning occurs. Questions to sit with after a fail are:
- What worked well?
- Where did the misunderstanding, challenge, or obstacle occur?
- What do I want to try next? What am I curious about?
- Who might I ask for feedback, support, or direction?
Learning requires practice which takes time. Making a commitment to the process is a necessary ingredient to learning. I remember reading somewhere, a long time ago, that people who master a particular skill, be it a physical activity or a technical ability, rely only partially on natural talent. In other words, even the most naturally gifted people will not become a master without putting in the time to practice. I also think it is important to make note of where you started and to notice how far you have come. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is a win for me? (Name your goal.)
- Do my behaviors reflect my intentions?
- What I have learned thus far?
- What do I still want to know?
- What am I willing to let go of in order to have more time to learn?
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Five years later, Kim is still in the flow of supporting and building a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.