What’s more powerful than learning something new? Unlearning it.
From the day we are born, we start learning. We learn our mother’s smell and from then on, we embark on this incredible journey. Each day is more exciting than the last and as the weeks and months go by, we become these amazing explorers of scents, tastes, sights, and sounds. Eventually, we look to our parents and caregivers for guidance- after all, they are our first “teachers”. Before we know it, it’s time to go to school and from then on we spend our most formative years navigating social hierarchies and internalizing gender stereotypes, both at home and at school. We are not encouraged to question or break away from what is expected. This happens later.
After many years, we find ourselves in adulthood. We’re making connections, building relationships and trying our best to live lives that we can be proud of. Throughout this time, we are constantly learning. But at which point do we take pause and realize that perhaps some of what we’ve learned should simply be unlearned and replaced by a different mindset?
As little girls, we are taught to listen, be attentive and nurturing. We are conditioned to consider and empathize with the emotional state of others, and as adults, we become more accustomed with giving more of ourselves to others around us- often at our own expense.
“its actually a socially learned coping mechanism that can, with a little time and attention, be unlearned. As young children, girls are socialized to be nice and to be more in touch with their own and other people’s feelings than are boys. There’s nothing wrong with being nice. And there is definitely nothing wrong with being liked. Boys, on the other hand, are socialized to be less attuned to people’s feelings, and to win.” – Psychology Today
Social dominance theory (SDT), put forth by Sidanius and Pratto in 1999, attempted to explain how, and why, social structures seemed to be supported by an unspoken hierarchy of groups based on a number of different traits. These multiple hierarchies may be based on gender, race, age, economic status, and other characteristics – either naturally recurring or obtained.
While this theory has been shown to address inequality and the lack of diversity and inclusion in many aspects of social and professional life, it should not serve to define our reality. This is why “unlearning” and “relearning” are critical as we prepare to say goodbye to 2020.
Ask any woman who successfully manages work, home life, social, and her own well-being how she does it. The answer won’t likely be that she’s a superhero and has adapted to sleeping less than five hours a night. More often than not, this woman has diligently and with intention unlearned and relearned. It is not a passive process, but one that requires a significant level of emotional intelligence and self-awareness. For example, asking for help should never be perceived as a weakness on our part but a formidable strategy in effectively communicating our expectations while managing those of others.
In our upcoming December sessions, we will be exploring our mindset and how critical it is when defining our approach to certain aspects of our lives.
In sales and in life, how we show up anywhere tends to be how we show up everywhere. Often times, our mindset can be fixed and resistant to change and it inevitably determines everything. This significantly limits us and our ability to evolve. In our December 3rd interactive session, we will explore why our mindset is the most important part of our sales process. Breaking down the most fundamental, but often overlooked pieces to a successful sales puzzle.
On December 15th, we will dig deeper into our tendency to take on more than we can manage, and the strategies we can implement to confidently and effectively set boundaries and expectations in both our personal and professional lives.
In both sessions we will uncover and discover what it means to be truly self aware and how resetting our mindset can allow us to approach new challenges and opportunities in a more intentional and strategic way.
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