I am always learning something new and I LOVE IT!! I enjoy watching my son learn as well as learning about others and MYSELF. But I never have really thought about unlearning something, that is until I read a recent blog post on http://www.positivelypresent.com/. I recently learned that Unlearning really is the key to transformation and necessary to make big changes in your life. This allows us to feel more positive and present.
Of course we all have times, people, and situations we would love to forget but this is more than that. This is more about changing the way we think about something and I’ll be honest...It’s Not Easy. In the end it is totally worth it.
STEP 1: COMMIT TO THE UNLEARNING PROCESS
First, do a self evaluation and think about what habits, behaviors, people or situations you would like to forget. What people would you rather not spend time around? This will be hard, especially if this has been a way of life for you for years. It is going to take time and commitment. If you don't fully commit to the unlearning process, trust me, it'll never work.
STEP 2: DETERMINE WHY YOU WANT TO UNLEARN IT
True growth and unlearning can only happen if you're fully committed -- and to be fully committed, you have to dig deep to answer the question: Why do I want to unlearn this? When you get to the "why” why may be to be a better role model for your children or friends, to be more a peace with who you are, etc. When you have that "why" question answered, you'll be able to come back to that whenever you struggle with unlearning and encourage yourself. If you have to write it down and place it where you will see it every day. It is part of the commitment process.
STEP 3: START WITH SMALL STEPS
This process can be overwhelming especially if it is something you have been so used to and had become a part of you and who you are. Make a list of small things you can do to move forward in the unlearning process. Spend some time listing out ways that you might be able to start unlearning right now to make the process seem more manageable. Some of these steps could be research how others have quit smoking, ask friends and family to hold you accountable, find a healthy habit to replace the bad one. Give it a try!
STEP 4: FIGURE OUT WHAT TRIGGERS YOU
Even a small change is a step in the right direction. Now, let’s identify what are some triggers that make what you are trying to unlearn? Do certain people affect your behavior you are trying to unlearn? Do certain situations make you feel more anxious and lead you to negative thinking or the other thoughts you are trying to let go of? Do certain people make you want to take up a habit you're trying to quit? Paying attention to what triggers you to behave or think a particular way is crucial for making positive unlearning progress.
STEP 5: REWARD YOURSELF FOR POSITIVE PROGRESS
You are working hard and you deserve a reward. Every time you make progress celebrate. Treat yourself to a special treat, tell yourself “good job”. Each time you resist what you are trying to unlearn you are one step closer to success. Whatever works as a reward for you, use it to reinforce your own positive behavior.
Unlearning can have a powerful (and positive!) impact on your life, and everyone has their own reason for it. I highly recommend these 5 steps and start the transformation.
True transformation happens when you let go of what you no longer need, and allow space in your life for more positive, empowering habits, mindsets, and experiences!