Friday, September 28, 2007

Overcoming blocks to studying

Many of us shy away from the task of acquiring mastery of new skills and of polishing up old skills. We are afraid of it; as usual, of the failure, we are afraid of the unknown experiences that come with it; we are afraid of the queasy feeling that comes with failed attempts (perhaps that reminds us subconsciously of the fear that we felt when we were threatened and punished by our elders when we committed mistakes and failed during our childhood). Threats from elders are, to the child who is wholly dependent on them, almost like the end of his existence. Especially when they come from the very sources that affirm him/her, he is devastated.

These unpleasant experiences lie in the subconscious as unvoiced fears. We may not even be aware that they exist inside us. When we fail, the hidden parental voice admonishes us severely, the fear of receiving admonishments and rejection has been rooted in us from early childhood, so we will experience just an over possessing, nauseating discomfort and will want to run away from the situation that causes it. If it is study that causes it, we will run away from studying (physically or mentally). Mentally: we may have opened the book or be sitting inside the class, but our minds may have shut down to study-avoiding unpleasantness.

This kind of fear can affect other areas of life also: Socializing. If you have been severely criticized at each and every movement that your made in your childhood, you will experience an unknown fear while interacting with people later, as an adult. It is the same fear, discomfort that you felt as a child when you were berated.

To escape, some people run away from public to live in their own world, some people numb those feelings artificially with acting out, attention seeking, or with alcohol/drugs.

The relief from these fears comes not from running away from them, but in turning and facing them squarely! You have to give yourself a constant dose of positive empowering self-talk, meditate, practice witnessing, and jump right into the situations you are afraid of!

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