Learning and Embarrassment

It is challenging for many people to separate themselves from what others may think about them. This is especially the case when it comes to learning.

Generally, people are not embarrassed to make mistakes when learning a musical instrument. We don’t give up when we play a wrong note on the piano—or in my case the Great Highland Bagpipes.

The same holds true in athletics. We don’t stop playing baseball when we strike out at bat, and we don’t stop shooting basketballs at the hoop when we miss it.

When it comes to mental learning, in contrast to kinesthetic or psychomotor learning, why is it that so many people would rather not engage in the process than make a mistake and become embarrassed?

A section in my education book is devoted to the idea of perfection and learning. The point is that you cannot learn and be perfect at the same time. Unfortunately, many aim at perfection—instead of continual improvement—and become embarrassed when they make mistakes.

 A major stumbling block in learning is the idea of embarrassment. If you are afraid to make mistakes or be embarrassed, don’t expect significant improvement.