• rileysoloner

Learning Learning

Learning a new skill with self compassion: what a concept! I hated high school because I convinced myself I was an idiot. I convinced myself I was an idiot by equating not instantly understanding something new with never being able to grasp it.

I’m lucky I found and stuck with things that came easy. I didn’t know what was actually happening there. I would push through my not knowing when I was interested and engaged with the subject. I’m a good student when I want to show up for it. If I didn't see myself as smart enough to pick it up, I was apathetic. My mind was locked shut.

The most valuable learning experience as I’m studying is observing the evolution of my learning process. I don’t hate myself through every step of the process anymore. I can’t tell you how much more manageable the climb feels. I’m learning something more complicated than I thought I could handle. I still slip up, make errors and round back to process what doesn’t click right away. Gone is a sense of entitlement that would cast a shadow over every hiccup. “Should have gotten this the first time.” Even moments I could have celebrated unlocking an idea would be undercut with “finally. Why did that even take you so long.”

I think about how this learned unproductive behavior followed me into even into the subjects where I had passion. Frustration for exuding effort. I always felt I had a leg up in any comedy pursuit. I was fresh, openminded and eager. As I advanced, I would not allow myself the peace of mind that growth is painful and built on ups and downs. The whole ride could have been smoother if I loosened up and had some perspective.

It's going to be an intense summer of learning. I will have exercised this new self compassion in my learning a ton. This is helping calm my intimidation. I’m coming to understand my bully.

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