There’s the kind of learning that’s stimulating and motivating. It acts as a sort of reset - shaking up your routine, setting you on a new path - like attending a conference or going back to school. It’s also passive learning.
And then there’s another kind of learning. The excruciating kind. This kind of learning comes up when things get tough - like when you lose a client or lose big money on a project. The kind of learning that brings up questions like ‘am I really cut out for this?’ or ‘am I wasting my time?’.
We all get triggered in certain ways when things don’t go as planned. We blame ourselves and our process. We tell ourselves that this happens because we’re not good enough or smart enough or we don’t work hard enough.
The trick is to recognize when learning is masquerading as something else like failure, rejection or unworthiness and to dig a little deeper. To reframe the situation, clean it up and honestly reflect upon what you could have done differently. To face it and let it help you re-work your systems, build a better process, communicate your boundaries more effectively.
Every time you learn something the hard way, you are taking another giant leap forward. Learning now means you get better sooner. So you’ve just lost big money on a project. Your bank balance may tell you you’re behind. But really you’re streaks ahead.