Friday, April 4, 2008

What Holds Me Back?

"Change alone is the only constant." -- Diogenes

Wow! Has there ever been a time when we feel this paradox so viscerally everyday? My answer, and I am not young and not old (just turned 46) is a resounding, "No"! There are daily demands on our time and talent in whatever is our domain of specialty. We are busy. Add to our busy lives, the learning curve that digital immigrants like me, are faced with as we strive to sync ourselves with the technological interfaces of today's hyper-connected world. I am great at email, googling, and word processing but these tools are dull and barely effective in the new Web 2.0 social media world. There are now truly global conversations going on about all kinds of things that matter. Impassioned and enlightened people can get connected with ease and begin to create awareness, work towards breakthroughs, and make a difference.

I ask myself often what keeps me from taking part in this phenom? I find this a valuable question to reflect upon, and I have spent hours thinking about it. It takes hours to think about a question like this because you have to bifurcate yourself and really become pushy with yourself. You have to be pushy to go behind the easy answers down to deep honesty.

The deep honesty for me is that I don't take part because I don't know how to take part. Getting to that belief has been a starting point for me because it led to more questions and I began to look for answers. Luckily I have found some.

The questions mounted: where does that come from? about what other things do I have a fixed mindset? how can I change that belief? A good starting place for me is Wikipedia - let's see what they say about mindsets.

A mindset is an assumption, or a subconscious decision. Therefore, it can be surfaced or brought into consciousness and re-considered. Then, because one's mindset is changed, one can do what was considered previously out of one's ability, range, or realm. I realize that if I change how I think about learning something new, or changing, I can actually change. I can begin to learn.

I have a fixed or staid mindset when it come to becoming a digital native. It's like a mental block or barrier. I am aware that I believe that I can't do it because I don't know how to do it and that there is some fear of learning involved. More questions will I make mistakes in the process of learning? will making mistake and missteps make me look stupid? is what I will learn worth all the time and effort? will I be good at it? I notice one question that I don't ask myself that it dons on me would be important will I enjoy learning about it? will I enjoy the end result even if I am not particularly good at it?

Changing that root belief or mindset is the key first step. Do that, and the learning can flow.

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