Letting Learning Hold You Back

Learning is wonderful! They say that knowledge is power, and while this can be true if used positively, learning itself can hold you back from sharing what you already have.

I’ve experienced this in two ways. First, as someone who enjoys learning, it’s possible to get caught up in the quest for knowledge itself. This can show up as the following main objections:

“I don’t have a degree in that field.”

Assuming you need more education can be a pitfall. There’s nothing wrong with education! However, there are other ways to obtain knowledge, including experience, common sense, intuition, or even your lifestyle, self-imposed or not. These avenues are just as valid as educational degrees, and perhaps more practical and helpful.

For example, I’ve been totally blind all my life, except for light perception as a child. I don’t have a degree in social work or rehab counseling, but there are things I can share with other blind people, things that sighted counselors with degrees cannot teach them. If I can help someone, why shouldn’t I?

“I’m not qualified. I need more education.”

Once started on a degree path, it’s easy to keep climbing. Again, this is not a problem in itself. However, if it keeps you from using what you already have, any educational path can be a vicious cycle. Know what you truly need, and, more importantly, realize what you already have to offer. If you do need more education, obtain it, and keep sharing what you have at the same time.

The second way learning can hold a person back, is the sheer amount of options, programs, etc. For one who is always striving, it can feel like you’ll be good enough when… When I finish this program. When I have that skill set. When I get the certificate. And meanwhile, people are missing out on your uniqueness, your particular way of sharing or teaching, and the inspiration you give them, often unknowingly.

Learning comes easily to some people, but not to others. Whichever is true for you, let learning be an asset and a joy, not a hindrance or obligation. Be confident in your worth as a person, and in the value of what you yourself can give to others.

The most important learning, the most powerful knowledge, does not come from a degree program, but from the inner work we choose to do on a daily basis. To know yourself is the greatest knowledge anyone can have!

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