Learn to Unlearn is something you might have heard on different social media platforms or in a book. It seems like a new way of learning to become a better version of yourself.
But what does ‘learn to unlearn’ mean? And how can you apply it to navigate your future?
In this article, I’ll share the 5Rs to guide you to a positive change in your life.
What does ‘learn to unlearn’ mean?
According to the article, the famous expression was used by Alvin Toffer. As you can see on top, his full quote probably makes you wonder.
For me, the definition of ‘learn to unlearn’ is being able to differentiate between the knowledge you have that is valuable and the thoughts that limit you. If you can remove unwanted or limiting beliefs, you can learn to rewire yourself for a positive change.
The 5Rs to navigate how to ‘learn to unlearn’
Many of us struggle with learned beliefs, especially from our childhood. Have you ever questioned the reasons why you act or react in a certain way?
I never did until I went to college at age 43! I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know. That was surely an eye-opener. So I hope sharing the process of the 5Rs will help you gain the courage to make a positive change in your life. Trust me, it feels GOOD!
Here are the 5Rs:
- Reap the reward
Now you know the 5Rs, let’s look at each step.
The first step is to recognize what you don’t know by learning more deeply. I’m not talking about learning new things here, I’m talking about revisiting those areas of knowledge that you’ve always taken for granted, but exploring other perspectives and opposing opinions.
You don’t have to go to school for this, you can learn from reading books and articles, listening to podcasts or simply talking to others who can inspire you.
Whatever you choose, it should make you think and start questioning.
As you know, recognizing what you don’t know is a crucial step for the next steps.
Once you recognize a questionable area, spend some time reflecting. Some may find this part quite challenging because you have to revisit your memories to identify the origin of your beliefs. But without this step, you won’t be able to make a positive change.
Here are some ideas to connect with yourself:
Then ask some questions like why do I believe in XXX? What makes me think this way? When you start reflecting, you’ll see clarity.
While you’re reflecting, you’ll start identifying what’s valuable or toxic for you. You definitely want to keep something that makes you happy or aligns with your true self. If your learned value no longer serves you or is simply toxic, you need to get rid of it.
For example, I kept my mom’s knowledge of eating healthy. But I chucked the idea that girls/women should be quiet and obedient. Sorry, it didn’t work for me!
The reevaluation process helps you sort your beliefs to either keep or chuck.
Now you’re clear on things that no longer serve you, it’s time for editing. Before you start on the prompts below, you need to ask yourself an important question. Are you ready to take action? If you are ready for creating a better future, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What do you want/need to fulfil your life?
- How do you want to feel about yourself?
- What makes you feel good or happy?
- Who do you want to become?
With love & compassion for yourself, now is the time to revise the course of your future!
5. Reap the reward of ‘learn to unlearn’
Finally, you are here to reap the reward. When you take step-by-step actions, it naturally navigates you through to where/who you want to be. The process takes time, but it becomes much easier as it goes along.
As a result, you’ll move closer to happiness and becoming your true self.
It’s definitely time to reap the reward and enjoy your life!
As a woman & a mom, I’ve had so many old beliefs that made me feel limited and unhappy. But I was too busy (at least that’s what I told myself) to take the time to even think about what I didn’t know.
As I mentioned earlier, education has changed my mindset. Of course it didn’t fix everything overnight, and I know it’ll be a lifetime process. We learn to unlearn, so we can keep evolving to become a better version of ourselves!
Now I want you to reflect on your beliefs and see if there are any you want to change. Then ask yourself, “How can I change it?”