This is the first fall in 18 years that I have not been starting a new school year. Since it is my first year of my career, I feel like a lot of the same “first day” thought apply. I am doing a lot of learning in my training program, and a lot of days it does seem a lot like school.
I recently was watching reruns of one of my favorite teen dramas when a conversation between two characters really got me thinking about learning and school. Even though I am not in school I feel it can apply to anyone because we should never stop learning. If you have, you are really setting your self up for failure.
I feel that the position of learning is really one of the most vulnerable positions that we can put ourselves in on a regular basis. To learn means to admit that we don’t know everything. I think this is something that is difficult to admit. I try so hard to get a head, to prove that I am better than someone else. It sounds bad, but its true. In college, at least in engineering school, it wasn’t about knowing 100% of the material, but rather beating the curve. As long as you know more than most of the people in your class you would be golden. In the workplace, I feel it is the same. Without grades to measure yourself against, all you can do is your best. Hopefully your best is better than someone else’s in order to make a name for yourself or earn a promotion.
The line in the show said something along the lines of “once you can overcome the discomfort of uncertainty, then you can really learn”. I mean think about it. You come to college (or a job, or any situation) and are too afraid of what you don’t know or if others know more than you that you start to pretend. You pretend you know something already or just try to learn it enough to get by. I think it is so common for us to just study enough to take the test, rather than fully understanding and committing it to our brains for ever. If we can come to some type of understanding with our subconscious where we become content with the idea that it is okay not to know something already. It is okay to stop pretending and attempting to play catch up. If we can be okay with the discomfort of uncertainty, then we can really learn.
If anyone has any tips in how to overcome this discomfort, please share! All I can recommend, is to really think about it, be aware of it, and like all else: pray about it.