Why I Suck at Learning

I’m learning Chi-Gong.

Now that my days, and energy, aren’t consumed with the routine and structure of training and competition, I have space in my life to learn new skills and to play around with new interests and passions.

And so I find myself learning Chi-Gong (and LOVING it! Who would have thought?!?)

Translated, Chi means air and Gong means power training. Through Chi-Gong we are taught to use our energy, our breath, to control our body, and our movements; in effect, to make our bodies a weapon. It is about using flow, rather than muscular control or effort. This idea, this way of being, is so different from how I have lived up until now. My whole life, my whole athletic and sporting career, as been founded on muscular control; on conscious, forced effort.

So, naturally, my teacher, my friend, has many corrections to make with me.

Some things I pick up easily; if I was taught a single posture, I could get in a relatively good position. However, as soon as it came time to link these postures together, to start to move, the cracks start to show.

He would patiently teach me what I needed to know, changing what needed to be changed, correcting me on the same things over and over. And as he did this, I found myself countering his teachings with my explanation of why I was doing it incorrectly;

“Oh, that’s cause I used to do Karate and that’s how we did it there”
“That’s what I always had to do in CrossFit”
“That’s because of this, or that’s because of that”
Blah, blah, blah. So many reasons, so many excuses

He wasn’t criticising me, yet I felt the need to explain myself instead of just doing what he was teaching me.

My reasons & excuses sound perfectly reasonable to me but really, they just keep me stuck; stuck in my excuses, stuck in the past, rather than allowing me to be present, to move forward.

I make it hard for myself to change, to learn, to grow because I tell myself it’s perfectly reasonable & understandable that I can’t, based on my previous experiences.

What if I just dropped my story? What if I just asked how I could do the new thing, rather than arguing why I can’t? How different would my experience be then?

I feel so vulnerable learning something new, especially in front of people, especially in front of people I know and love. I’ve built up this facade (SPOILER ALERT!) that I am perfect, and perfectly capable, so when I’m doing something for the first time & I don’t get it straight away, shame & embarrassment washes over me – “Oh my God, they’re going to see I can’t do this. I better give them a good reason why it’s so hard for me, so I don’t look so bad”

This thought process totally shuts down my learning ability & makes it even harder & longer for me to grasp that new skill.

Unconsciously, I’m telling myself how hard it is for me to learn a new skill, so I don’t fully embody the instruction. I’m capable of doing so, but I don’t. That underlying belief tells me it has to take a long time, so I don’t allow the instruction to become part of me.

There I am, totally, consciously, willing and wanting to learn this new art, and yet I’m sabotaging myself throughout the whole process. Insane. And you know what? You do it too. (Sound familiar?)

This is why I work with the subconscious (or unconscious) mind. It’s estimated the power of our subconscious mind is approximately 1million times greater than the conscious mind. Left untended, this guy becomes the BOSS, ruling us every moment of every day.

Those limiting beliefs will continue to sabotage us, even when, consciously, we really want something & are committed to it. This is why diets fail, why goals always seem to be just out of reach, why relationships struggle, why athletes lose, why businesses fail, & why health suffers.

You must bring your unconscious mind on board if you want success. It’s irrelevant how much information you have, how good your intentions are or how detailed your plan is; if there’s anything lurking deep in your unconscious, you are in for a bumpy ride.

“So how do I get this guy onside?” I hear you ask. Great question!

The quickest, easiest and most effective way is to work with someone who is trained in programming, or re-programming, the subconscious mind.
There are many of us out there who do this kind of work, and if I’m not the right fit for you, I can certainly recommend someone who will be

In the meantime, here are some things you can do for yourself:
Start by looking at the areas of your life that aren’t what you’d like them to be, & ask yourself the following questions:

  • “What must I be believing in order for this to be my experience?”
  • “Is this belief serving me or holding me back?”
  • “What do I want instead?”

 Then, look at ways to bring those new beliefs to reality.

For example;

You struggle with debt; therefore, your beliefs must be something along the lines of “I’m not good with money”. Instead, you’d rather hold the belief “I love managing my money well”, or “I love saving my money.”

This new belief would now become an affirmation; a daily mantra that you repeat to yourself regularly. Visualise yourself, often, managing your money well – what does that look like for you?

As you go about your day, make all your decisions as someone who manages their money well. This person probably wouldn’t live beyond their means, or make rash, emotional money decisions.

You would also start to look at ways to manage your money well; are there books you can read, courses you could attend, seminars you could go to, or just people (who are good with money) you could talk to and ask for advice? Learn as much as you can, and then put what you learn into action.

Good luck, and if you need help with this, reach out. As for me, I’m off to change some limiting beliefs.


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