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In my last post ( 10-23-17 ), I spoke of the stuff that gets in the way of learning. Well just about anything can get in the way but we are especially vulnerable to yucky thoughts feelings and memories.

Let’s take an up close and personal look at one of the more popular unwanted visitors. We may start off wanting to make a difference with students or other important people AND we also experience self-doubt about our efforts as in, “Do I have the right stuff for this situation?”. The next thing we know we may be second-guessing ourselves. This is our minds going to war with our self-doubt. Battle stations and alarms clang and before you know it we are stopped dead in our tracks and moving to the safety of doing something less ambitious. We change the activity, stop dead in our tracks or throw up our hands in frustration. Ah, relief!

The mind has won the battle but lost in the end. Self-doubt may be vanquished in the moment but he or she will be back with a vengeance before too long. The more we try to avoid and escape the more harried and harassed we may become. Our students do the same thing and of course, we could dance together and really head for misery.

There is a way out of the struggle. To do that we have to do something counterintuitive, something our verbal mind resists. If we have the matrix diagram handy (or if we can imagine it in front of us ) we can notice the feeling of struggling, of the familiar scramble inside the hamster wheel of avoidance or rigidly held rules. At the moment of noticing we step back and notice something else. We now have a choice to continue our mad dash from our misery or accept what is there and choose an action. It will be something that allows us to keep working to make a difference, something that lifts our eyes up that we can go and try out. Self-doubt becomes a part of what shows up on the way to trying to make a difference since our minds really don’t know what will happen next. Who and what is important is out there.