Read My Lips

Read My Lips

I catch myself often being angry at myself: »Oh, my god, how can I be so stupid. I have been repeating the same mistake over and over again for years!«

Lately I have been inclined to interpret my mistakes in another way, not by using my stupidity as the basis for explanation.

Let us think back. How did we learn as kids? Psychologists claim that a child learns mostly by imitating the grown-ups around him. And frankly speaking: How could a new born child learn by taking advice from the parents? The child does not understand words yet. Thus the method of imitating is the only way to learn how to walk, speak etc. Being the first possible method of learning, it is not surprising that it remains the most powerful one throughout our life. Nobody likes teachers that say: “Listen to my words, don’t watch my actions. Read my lips.” It is logical that we dislike such guidelines – no matter what the role model says, we are much more likely to imitate his/her actions.

Similarly it is difficult to stop repeating mistakes, because we were programmed to do them in early childhood – we imitated the grown-ups around us. Re-learning early adopted thinking patterns takes time and patience. That is why self help books and seminars that offer quick results are usually misleading. I am afraid it is the ‘No Sweat No Glory’ concept that kicks in again, when we talk about changing our thinking patterns. Let us be patient with ourselves, for we have learned the mistakes by imitating, which is a very powerful way of learning.

Take care,

Helena Smole

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