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Learning mindset: Keep the goal in mind

by Linn

This was one of the big mindset changes for me as a student of krav: I used to hope (fingers crossed) I wouldn't make mistakes when the instructor was looking at me. Just look when I'm doing things well, please?

Feel familiar?

It's very common, and many people get a little more stressed when they think an instructor is looking at them. Which just increases the chance of messing something up, right.

But the goal isn't to look good, it's to learn.

Learner mindset

We humans are social creatures, we want people to think well of us. We're wired that way. And for some of us, we may think that making mistakes will make people think less of us.

As an instructor, I can say that that's really not the case. Making mistakes is a natural part of learning, and good instructors know that. They also see the bigger picture. A lucky shot doesn't paint a whole picture of skill, and a momentary fumble doesn't undo it.

More importantly, the concern about what people may think, whether it's the instructor or fellow students, it gets in the way of learning. It puts some of our focus in the wrong place.

Now, in all the training I do, I hope an instructor will be there to see it if I'm making mistakes. Because then maybe they'll point it out to me, and maybe have a tip for how I can improve - and then I'll learn something.

That way of looking at it made me much more relaxed about making mistakes in training, and helped me get a lot more out of my training. Instead of worrying about what the instructor is thinking, I'm focusing on what they can teach me. How can I get the most out of their knowledge and experience.

If your goal is to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible, keep your eyes on that goal and don't be afraid to make mistakes - especially when you have someone knowledgeable around to help you improve.

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