As I watch someone learning, I find myself musing about the childlike approach to the process. On reflection, there appears to be three distinct stages, with a lot of iterations during the middle one.
First, the individual approach the challenge with tremendous confidence. S/he knew what needed to be done in order to reach the goal. With great details, the voice and body language told everyone watching that s/he understood the process, could and would get it done, and a celebration was in sight.
Second, as roadblocks, reality, and uncertainty emerge, the confidence flutters. For the first time, one can see doubt. Sometimes it is admitted, more often it is visible through the body language and measure of progress along the way. The strong ones reload, reset, and start again. On the first, second, and sometimes third attempt, the positive confident body language is still present. With time and repeated resets, tiredness often emerges.
For many, it ends here. From the outside, several common factors come with failure or giving up. There is a lack of any ideas what can be done differently. The body may be willing but the mind is blank. There is also a lack of will. The realization that one cannot do it on one’s own is beginning to take root. The challenge is letter go of the old and embracing the possibility of the new.
There are a few that do this well. With each experience, they take the learning and embed the experience deep within themselves. The negative emotion and ties to the failed ideas are let go. It is not a let go but remain close. One way of putting it is; “I ground them to dust; they gusted in the wind. I threw them out, like garbage in the gutter.” (Psalm 18.42)
Those that live, learn, and grow move into the third phase. Usually it involves others, leveraging their strengths to reach for someone more than anyone could have done it on their own. New ideas are embraced taking the best from the others and seeing the possible.