Learning to Unlearn

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Sometimes we have to let go of all we know, all we believe and think we know - to adopt a new idea and embrace it for the change.

 

For example,


If you’re stuck, if things aren’t changing, whether it’s in a relationship and it’s the same patterns, same fights, same feelings, same same,
Or if it’s physically and your not seeing the results you want, you’ve plateaued, 

Or if you’re not seeing changes to your wellbeing, energy or sleep.
Or if it’s in your work or business, and you’re not improving, learning or growing.

Or if it’s emotionally, and you find yourself in the same moods, with the same thoughts and emotions each day.

In any and more of these circumstances, if we want to change, evolve, and want something different this requires us to unlearn what’s gotten us to this position. And this can be super confronting. Our ego can get involved, and we feel proud and in control and in “knowing”, and we have to face ourselves that what we once learned - served its purpose – and its time to let it go and adopt a new idea.

And this cycle is never ending, and each time it’s awkward af. We self-sabotage, we put off, we make excuses, we just tell ourselves it’s not our fault, we don’t think we deserve it, we judge ourselves - and a plethora of other reasons.

For example. If you’re in a relationship and it’s the same shit, you get annoyed over the same things, have the same fights - take a look at yourself. Where are you at fault? Is your approach not working? Are you intentionally pushing the same buttons for a response? What does your partner need to express themselves to fight productively, not just destructively? Look at your behaviour first, and realise that what you’re doing - isn’t working. And you be that shift, and then bring in your partner and invite them to do the same.


Body wise, whether it’s how we eat, what we eat, how we move etc if you’ve hit a point and nothing changing or evolving, you need to unlearn what you’ve learnt to relearn something new - without the past bias and ego driven of “I know what I’m doing”. It’s another type of comfort zone, we’re comfortable with what we’ve learned. 

Like for me, going from just weight lifting / circuits to more tabata and primal movements there was so much resistance. I was like I don’t want to do this, I like lifting weights, it’s easy, I know the pattern movements, I know my workouts etc etc. and I had to unlearn what I thought was right and served my body - because in the past it did - but not anymore. I just kept gained body fat and weight and couldn’t understand why I was changing. And instead of being like “oh well. I guess this is just my body now” I was like baby girl, you need to switch it up. And I did. I felt awkward, and self conscious - but that’s all the ego - because the outcome, having more diverse mobility, able to move better, less injuries or aches and pains and I started dropping BF and weight – it’s SO worth it.


Same goes for going from vegan to incorporating animal proteins when I feel like it. I used to JUST listen to vegan and plant based experts, podcast and professionals - and all this did was reinforce my learning and beliefs. It’s when I consciously started listening to individuals who are pro- keto, carnivore, paleo that I was unlearning to relearn what was best for me and my body - and it’s still a conscious thing I have to do, because we have these patterned ideas, beliefs and values who shape us.

 

In our careers, business’ and jobs, we can see this roll out as the inability to evolve and shift with the times. For most of us millennials, we don’t struggle with this too much as we’ve seen so many shifts in the landscape in our lives, e.g from floppy discs, to CD’s, to USB’s to Hard drives, AirDrop and Bluetooth. But I’m sure we all have worked somewhere where theres an older individual who, no matter how good the ideas, the processes, the simplicity and easier a shift makes their lives and the companies – they cant change – theyre too stuck in their learnt patterns, that there’s 1 way things are done. Or if we own or run a business, we’re comfortable in our approach, our systems, and don’t want to revisit the unknown, but could be jeopardising growth.


Emotionally, if you feel the same each day, experience the same emotions, same thoughts – that aren’t serving you - you need to unlearn. Dr. Joe Dispenza speaks about teaching the body and mind to unlearn the habits that are genetically engrained in us, because we’ve fired a neural pattern over and over, and our body now does it without conscious input – causing us to feel the same each day. 

In his book Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself, he speaks on individuals who have experience trauma, and the ideas of being a victim, not worthy, broken etc. sees the body patterning these emotions, trapping you in a perpetual loop that you cant think your way out of.

Your mind-body is working without conscious input. It can be something that, you’re unhappy with your work, it doesn’t bring you joy, you’re always regretting having to go, and soon, these constant revisited thoughts have created an emotional pattern, that now influences your biology and gene expression. And this mood, which can turn into a personality trait, can bleed into other areas of your life, you’re always desperately searching for external things to bring you joy and make you happy, because you can’t get out of the depressive perpetual loops. 

 If you resonate with this, it’s unlearning the patterns, it’s bringing in something new and novel, pushing your conscious brain to trigger new neurons to fire and create new patterns, as well as putting your body in new situations to break it out of its patterns. Marrying this together with mindfulness (and meditation), so that you’re conscious of what you’re thinking, doing and being, so you can create change.

 

Building upon the idea of learning to unlearn, comes along with stories that are embedded into us. A big one for me I know is having to re-learn that asking for help isn’t weak. As I grew up with this idea that you do everything on your own, and asking for help was a sign of weakness and inadequacy.

 

Other examples include; 

Asking for what we want isn’t selfish

That we’re worthy and deserving to speak our truth

That we can say no, thank you and protect our energy

That napping doesn’t mean you’re lazy

Failure isn’t a bad thing, it’s an epic lesson of what doesn’t work

Taking a day off work to refill your cup isn’t bad

There’s no time for ____ 

That you can leave that job to pursue what you want, it’s not irresponsible 

Buying yourself something you want and love isn’t reckless,

Love is abundant, not a scarce resource, so blast it over everyone.

 Are there any stories you’re aware of that don’t really serve you? 

The only way to learn to unlearn is to put it into action, repetitively. We’re not able to shake our old selves over a day, or week or even month. It takes time. To reprogram our thoughts, emtions and body. To take the big steps to leave what doesn’t serve us, learning to immerse ourselves in what does.

So my biggest piece of advice is exactly that – go do it. Put yourself in stuations that makes you uncomfortable, push outside your comfort zone, do what you have to do, work through the imposter syndrome and inadequate feelings till you’ve mastered that skill, and it becomes just as embedded and remote as the one you replaced it for. And then continue that pattern.


Throughout our lives, we’re learning, we’re growing, we’re discovering, we’re loving, we’re adopting ideas and incorporating them into our sense of self. These ideas make up our personality and identity, so learning to unlearn is a confronting process as you’re literally killing a part of your identity and replacing it with a new one. But it’s so worth it. Because if you’re stagnant, you’re dead – you’re not living, evolving or growing which is all there really is to do, and have fun whilst doing it. 

All my love

xxx