March 27, 2019

Musings: Unlearning decades-old biases can be difficult but doable

Musings: Unlearning decades-old biases can be difficult but doable

In this era of information overload, one has the duty to always learn new things, relearn about old things while unlearning a lot of harmful, preconceived notions about different things.

You can become obsessed with learning new skills and, or you can do something much smarter.

You can unlearn what doesn’t work.

What you learned in school, or at a job ten years ago, or from your parents, could be totally irrelevant.

Much of what happened in the past no longer apply.

Consciously accepting this fact and doing something about it is bloody powerful in the process of unlearning.

Here are four ways towards ensuring the unlearning process happens smoothly:

Always doubt what you think you know.

Starting from a place of “Maybe I’m wrong” and doubting helps you to continuously learn new information while u learning old ones.

Think about the consequences of thinking you know something and being totally wrong.

You can avoid catastrophic failures by always doubting what you ‘think’ as your starting point.

Much of human existence is based on our perception which can be dreadfully off at times.

Too many of us think we know everything and that can be the cause of so much pain and unnecessary failure.

Break the habit of thinking you know.

It’s a bad habit and it’s our default operating mode.

We always act based on what we think we know first. The habit that is much more useful is always to assume that you don’t know first.

Also Read: Are You Really Ugly Or Is It Your Mindset?

This habit will force you to look for new information and speak with other people who might give you the advice that makes all the difference.

You’re not the smartest person in the room and never will be.

Break the habit of thinking you know because let’s face it, you probably don’t. Or your information could be out of date.

Insist on proof that what you believe is true today.

Doubting what you know is one thing but insisting on evidence that what you believe is still true is a much better strategy.

Unlearning is about finding new beliefs and strategies.

For example, you could believe that you can run a kilometre in 10 seconds flat, but if the evidence suggests that it’s not possible, you’d, in fact, be trying to achieve something that is impossible and stupid at the same time.

It’s too easy to change our thoughts based on emotion instead of proof.

You need to have sound proof when you unlearn an old way of thinking and replace that thinking with something new.

If all this fails, let it go.

The first three steps will tell you a lot. The simple fact is that after the above three steps, your strategy or belief could be wrong.

If that’s the case, let it go. Don’t get emotional about it or try and hold onto something you learned which is no longer true.

It’s not about being right; it’s about having a strategy or belief that will actually work.

Saying ‘I don’t know’ can be relieving and edifying.

No one person is a bastion of knowledge ergo, admitting to ignorance can sometimes be the highest form of wisdom.

We shouldn’t be afraid of change or unlearning what we know; we should be scared out of our mind about the old ideas we learned.

Information is readily available, so we’re all on a level playing field.

What separates those of us who can thrive and those who of us who can’t, is our mind. Have you programmed yourself to learn, unlearn and relearn over and over?

Having the guts to admit you’re wrong or need to relearn something takes someone who is self-aware and prepared to put their ego aside.

Getting more information or signing up for more education is not the answer.

The answer is this: less is more.

Well sort of.

The answer is really the habit of subtracting and adding on repeat for the rest of your life.

It’s like constantly updating your internal software to make sure what you currently think is right, taking away what’s no longer relevant, and adding in new ideas and strategies that were previously undiscovered.

True wisdom intersects the practice of learning, unlearning and relearning.

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