Mastering Learning the Hard Way

If colleges gave degrees in learning things the hard way I would have my Masters and be on my way to a Phd. My minors would be in stubbornness and mistake making. At least that would give me a piece of paper to frame to show something for all these mistakes and lessons learned. Right now, all I have is some wisdom that I am trying to live each day.


Since I don’t have a physical degree, I am going to write some of the lessons down so that they are in print, I can incorporate them on a deeper level, and hopefully they will also be useful for you.


The biggest lesson that I am still practicing on a daily basis is where to turn for guidance. I used to be a person that devoured books, courses, quotes, podcasts, or wisdom from friends in order to make my decisions. I used to think that the answers were out there. That everyone else was given a magical key that had all the symbols and their meanings and could tell me what I was supposed to do. I thought all these people who wrote books were special, that they had something that I didn’t because they had this book in print. Someone came along and bopped them on the head and marked them as #blessed or smart and that I had to learn from them.


I spent who knows how much money on courses and mentors and books and videos that I thought would share some insight that I needed to be better. All the while, I was looking at myself as not enough: not smart enough, not talented enough, not networked enough, not wise enough. I thought that I needed more books or more knowledge or more things to give me the answers.


Can you see the big “but” coming?


BUT that is truly all an illusion. What I learned, the hard way of course, was that there is no magical expert or magic wand to make someone more special than anyone else. Each one of us has special gifts and it is up to each person to bring their gifts to the world. You are your own expert.


I could give credit to the numerous teachers that helped me find this wisdom, because it was almost like I needed permission to do the thing that I already knew. I was getting tired of asking everyone else for advice on what I needed to do. I realized that everyone is just giving advice through the filter of their own experiences.


When I had a relationship fall apart, I realized I couldn’t ask anyone else what I should do. No one could answer that question. I had to hear what my heart was saying. I could ask people for support, but they would never be able to tell me what was right or wrong.


That relationship ended up not working out, but if I hadn’t listened to my heart and given it my best shot I would probably still be wondering what if? I would wonder if there was something that I hadn’t tried and if that would have been the thing to make it all better. Not that there was anything, but that’s how my brain works. It is always looking for how to make things better.


I’ve been practicing this for the last year and a half. Turning to myself before turning to anyone else. I still listened to podcasts, mentors, coaches, books, and courses but they are playing a different role in my life. I use them for research to inspire me to see what is possible in this gorgeous life we have. I use them to keep me thinking positively. And I use them for interesting conversations, I’m listening to more fiction and humor than I ever have in the past.


Where are you turning to outside sources to save you? What can you do to learn more from yourself?