In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke remarks that raising his X-Wing out of the swamp is different from using the force to move stones around. Yoda says, “No! No different! You must unlearn what you have learned!” He then tells him that it is only different in his mind.
Our minds are our greatest asset and greatest enemy. When we believe something so strongly about ourselves and the world around us, it can prevent us from learning new things. If our ego is dependent on what we believe, that can be even more dangerous because a lot more is at stake.
For Luke, he doesn’t believe he can raise his X-Wing out of the swamp. He tries, but he can’t do it. His belief gets in the way of him learning that he is capable of accomplishing things he hasn’t been able to do before.
Unlearning what we have learned is how we break down our biases, thoughts, and attitudes that ultimately hold us back. The problem is we often do not realize we have these limiting beliefs.
It’s important to understand where your thoughts come from. Ask yourself if your thoughts support your mental health, and if they align with the life you want. These are not easy questions to ask yourself, but they are necessary if you want to understand yourself and grow.
In order to unlearn, you must first be curious about yourself and the world around you. Unlearning is not only about interest in gaining knowledge but the ability to question the knowledge you believe you already have. When you do this, you open up space for new ways of living, thinking, and interacting with the world.
There is more than meets the eye in the world and in every situation. And if you’re curious enough, you will get to experience it. There are profound changes that happen within when you challenge yourself and what you have learned.
Here are five ways unlearning what you have learned can benefit you:
You become more creative.
Unlearning means connecting to your true self, where your creativity lives. When you get to this place, imagination has no bounds, and you’re able to share it in a way that inspires change and passion in others.
You grow effortlessly.
Unlearning is about changing your mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Growth mindsets are all about looking within to expand. You don’t allow outside pressure to dictate how you live your life but instead find a balance between the inner and outer worlds to help you develop healthy relationships with yourself and others.
You expand your perspective.
Life is not white or black. Most of life lies within the grey area, which is the area we want to explore to understand the world and humanity more deeply. Unlearning means seeing things in a new light and discovering new ways to solve problems.
You connect with others.
Unlearning unleashes some vulnerability, which helps you connect more authentically with the people in your life. When you get rid of the limiting beliefs, you are able to expand your connections with others in ways you might never have imagined.
You begin to heal.
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of unlearning is the result of self-healing. Being curious about what happens within you is the first step to healing. It can be painful because change is never easy, but it is worth it. When you change and grow, you don’t have to feel the same ways you once did. You can find better ways to view your challenges.