I think what happens with so many people (and I know this from experience) is that we get into a sort of learning cycle. We view our journeys too linearly – as if it’s Point A to Point B with nothing inbetween. The computer game analogies only further this idea; propagating the myth that we have to “re-start” or “start again” everytime we mess up or slip up.
It’s almost as if we believe our brains can’t handle a minor failure (or feedback request, with a tip of the hat to Bandler and Grinder ).
Obviously, the idea of peaks and valleys when it comes to learning and (eventually) mastering something is a well known concept. But I think it goes a step further.
Imagine this, and tell me if you’ve experienced something similar. You’re progressing well for a week or two. You’re making definate and noticable improvement in your journey. But all of a sudden you hit a “plateau” and you level out. For whatever reason, you feel you can’t advance any further.
So you wait until you get really bad again before you decide to make another change. You slip down, your skill and progress seemingly disappears faster than coke on Keith Richards’ coffee table, circa 1969. So you decide to wait it out and “wait for the right moment.”
But, hey, I’ve got news for you…the right moment may NEVER come! It’s up to US to find the right moment – to CREATE the right moment!
You see, I really think a lot of people make their biggest improvement at moments of a complete down (an extreme valley, if you like), rather than making constant and neverending (but, admitedly slow) improvement. The trouble with this is that we sometimes can get stuck into this cycle where we expect to change ONLY once we reach our lowest points. Or at least what we think is our lowest point at any given time.
So what happens is we sometimes refuse change as we’re rising up the success/learning curve. Maybe this puts an emotional name on the REASON for plateaus in all of this. I’m beginning to think we plateau out at certain points during our development because we FEAR SUCCESS.
I’ve noticed so many people writing blog posts or forum posts about how they get to a certain point and “get bored” or “find it too easy” or “have other things to do” or “complete the challenge.” All of these, I believe, are just excuses for a Fear of Success. Yeah, I don’t want to capitalise that phrase anymore, because all it does is reinforce it as the limiting belief that it is!
Thing is, we can break out of this self-inflicted mould. I’ve started to catch myself whenever I do this. I pick up on it and put a stop to it. We don’t have to slip back down in order to PICK OURSELVES UP! We can start from the same point where we were at. It’s all about catching ourselves and realising the problem as fast as possible.
It’s the journey not the destination. The journey will be rocky, so we need to learn to pick ourselves up from where we left off, rather than starting again!
I’m still trying to make sense of this. Does it help? Let me know in the comments below!