Pssst. . . want to know a secret? Come closer. . .
You were born to learn. Yes, you. No matter how much you struggle with particular skills or classes, you, along with every other human on earth, were born to learn. Here’s how I know this:
Your natural ability to learn, however, can be inhibited and even sabotaged by a lack of confidence and a feeling of anxiety about a particular skill or subject.
EMOTIONS AFFECT LEARNING “When learners feel unconfident or anxious, certain chemicals flow into the synapses to shut them down: ‘Danger! No time to think! Just run away!’ This is the flight reaction. Students mistakenly think they have a poor memory, but it is their emotions that are sabotaging them. When learners feel confident, different chemicals flow into the synapses that make them work quickly and well: “I can handle this.” This is the fight reaction.” Rita Smilkstein, PhD
Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007
So all those tips and tricks learned in study skills classes won’t do you any good if you aren’t in the right mindset to learn–if you don’t approach your learning with confidence.
Unfortunately, some professors may be the cause for your feelings of anxiety toward and lack of confidence in the work of a particular class. You can counteract this by following an intentional approach to your learning mindset:
- Recognize the origin of these negative feelings–an especially cynical professor (they’re not the norm, but they’re out there)
- Remind yourself that these negative feelings don’t originate with you.
- When you do the work for this class, be mindful of your detachment from these negative feelings.
- Mentally separate the work from the professor.
If your lack of confidence and anxiety does originate with you, please do this.
As always, please contact me if you have any questions.