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The Art of Unlearning: 3 Tips To Help You Unlearn and Succeed In Life

art of unlearning

Unlearning might actually matter more, to be successful in life, rather than strictly additive learning. Learning is an inherent part of human behavior. We have grown up learning different things right from childhood like crawling, walking, speaking, listening, driving and socializing, etc. We keep learning and grow throughout our life.

“To be knowledgeable, learn new things every day; to be wise, unlearn things that you learn with wit and love.”  ― Debasish Mridha

Why To Unlearn?

The world is changing at the speed of thoughts. What’s holds true today does not necessarily hold true tomorrow. In this environment and in this spirit, when uncertainty is certain we need to learn to unlearn.

Alvin Toffler had asserted that “the illiterate of the 21st Century are not those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

What Is Unlearning?

But what exactly is unlearning?

Is it possible to literally forget or erase the things we have learnt? No, unlearning is not about forgetting what we have learnt.

Unlearning is the art of letting go of old knowledge, skills, information, or habits in order to make a room for new ideas and learning which might be better for success in life.

Related: Nine Habits of Truly Confident People

How To Unlearn?

It’s not learning that is the challenge, it’s your ability to unlearn that’s holding many of us back.

Here Are 3 Tips That Will Help You In Unlearning

1. Recognize and accept.

You have to recognize and accept that the old techniques, knowledge, and perception on which you’ve been relying are no longer effective or relevant. This is the most challenging because most of us are sublimely unaware of our mindsets and perceptions. We just employ them and remain on autopilot mode.

You need to recognize the changing world is demanding to let go of old and learn new knowledge, skills, and competencies. In addition to this, it can be difficult to accept that your existing model is getting outdated. Many of you have built your reputations and careers on the mastery of these old models.

Letting go may seems to you like starting over all again and losing the authority, status, or even your sense of self.

The Art of Unlearning: 3 Tips To Help You Unlearn and Succeed In Life
Learn The Art Of Unlearning To Succeed In Life

2. Break the habits.

Humans are creatures of habit and once formed, habits are difficult to break. If you go deeper then you will find breaking habits and unlearning are connected.

Reappraising and breaking old habits is part of unlearning. I have always been advocating breaking the bad habits which are not helping us reach the goals that we want. Change habits by decreasing the activities of the old habits and gradually replace them with new habits until the old habits are no longer active and the new habits flourish instead.

3. Continual learning.

Continual learning is important for your growth and success in life. Your life’s learning curve should inherent continual learning which keeps you abreast with the changes around you; the change in technology, the change in work patterns, the change in perceptions, and the change in mindset.

Make yourself more aware of the changes being taking place surrounding you and learn new things. Then use that new knowledge to start pulling up and modifying old knowledge. This way you will unlearn and relearn.

Related: 7 Mindful Habits That Are Hard to Adopt But Will Benefit You Forever

Over to you now, what do you feel, is unlearning important for growth and success in life?

Share with us in comment section your experiences and views on how unlearning can change the life.

Written by Invajy
Originally appeared in Invajy
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The Art of Unlearning: 3 Tips To Help You Unlearn and Succeed In Life


Author is the founder of Self Improvement Blog InvajyC. He holds a master’s degree in human resources and a postgraduate degree in engineering. He is an HR manager by profession and a blogger by passion. He writes on mental health, self-help, self-improvement, self-awareness, Growth Mindset, motivation, inspiration, mindfulness, success, inspiring Stories, Inspirational Quotes. He also adds value to other people’s life as a mentor and life coach. You can engage with him on Twitter @InvajyCView Author posts

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