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7 Deadly Mindsets that Hold You Back from Learning Effectively

7 Deadly Mindsets that Hold You Back from Learning Effectively
Learning

In this hyper-competitive global environment, there is no certainty. Only change is certainly there. An honors degree can no longer secure a high paying job for life. As a result, you are constantly going for courses, learning new stuff and upgrading your skills.

This is a fast-paced world after all. You are faced with revolutionary changes and there’s so much to learn. This article will show you some of the dangerous mindsets that hold you back from learning effectively.


1. I’m too old to learn
As you grow older, there is this tiny voice in your head saying, “You are getting old and your brain is getting ‘rusty’”.

It’s true that your brain cells are killed over the years. But look at Albert Einstein, scientists have proved that he had only tapped less than 1 % of his brain’s power. It’s not an excuse to say that you can’t learn because you are too old.

Exercising your brain is like exercising your muscles. When you train your muscles, it gets developed and becomes stronger. The more you do, the more satisfaction you’ll get from the results. This applies to learning too.

If you consistently train your brain to learn new things, you will learn things much faster.

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2. I know everything.
Perhaps you are successful; you have an honors degree or even a master degree. And you assumed that you have learnt everything you need to know.

You believed that you are right and everybody is wrong. You won’t listen to anyone except yourself. Eventually someone is going to be hot on your heels and surpass you sooner or later.

It’s only when you fail would you start to realize that you’ve got to learn again.

3. I’m not smart enough.
You lost your job and you are finding a new one. You have been in a specialized industry for several years. Now it’s time to re-learn from scratch.

You wanted to learn something new, but you are worried that you are not smart enough. And you keep putting it off.

Even before you fight a war, you have surrendered. By thinking negatively, you have lost half the war.
Although you may have started learning, but half way through, you feel that you are not smart enough and give up halfway.

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The truth is that to master a skill, there are many learning curves and obstacles to break through. Maybe you are just a few steps away from mastering the skill.
Think about it, won’t it be a waste to give up halfway?

4. There are many people who are smarter than me.
You are in a class full of young, talented and intelligent professionals. When you looked at the mirror, you felt you are inferior to them.

In terms of learning abilities, these people are more proficient and skillful than you are. You cannot help it but thinking negatively about yourself.

The truth is there is always somebody better than you are. And the only way you will have an edge is through endless and continuous learning. It is your battle, not a battle with others.

5. This is not for me.
I’m sure you have been very enthusiastic when you first picking up something new. You may hit dead ends occasionally but at the start, your enthusiasm has pulled it through.

After a while, you keep going nowhere. You are near the intermediate stage but you are somehow stuck and you can’t advance to the next stage. You saw your friends improving and you are on the plateau. All the fun, excitement and enthusiasm die off.

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Now, you are tired of learning and you want to give up. You said to yourself, “This is not for me”.
The truth is this will be a deadly habit that will hinder your success. Think about it, it’s just an excuse to escape from the fact that you are not confident about yourself and your learning abilities. If you give up learning because it’s not for you, then you will never master anything.

6. Not focus.
Some people have the tendency of learning many things at the same time. One moment they are reading a “how to invest” book, the other they are reading a “how to do ebay”.

If you find yourself distracted, maybe it’s time to focus.

Imagine you are multi tasking, doing many different things at one go – talking on the phone, watching television, doing your work on the laptop. Would you able to do it well?

I doubt so. My advice to you…

Stay focused.

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7. I can learn it another day.
You returned home from a tiring day of heavy workload, stressful working environment and even long hours of office hours.

You have already planned to read another chapter of your book. But you decided to put it off again. In fact, for the past week, you have procrastinated and delayed your lessons or classes.

After a month, you simply forget about it.

The fact is to learn effectively, you got to be disciplined. No matter how tired you are, you have to stick with your plans and deadlines.

Please share some of your learning obstacles and comments about learning effectively.

George Tee is the author of “Secrets Of Scoring ‘A’s” and founder of Learning Nest – Secretsofstudying.com . A few of his popular articles are 5 Hacks That Make Study Simple And Effective, How To Effectively Manage Your Time and How I Excel In My Exams And Emerge Among The Top 53 Students.

More by this author

George Tee

George is the founder of Secrets of Studying. He is devoted in sharing his secrets of learning and growing as an entrepreneur.

How to Practice Positive Meditation in 2 Simple Steps How To Stay At The Top Of Your Game Everyday Genius – You Can Be One Too! 7 Deadly Mindsets that Hold You Back from Learning Effectively

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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