Learning To Unlearn: The Importance Of Reinventing Yourself
While it is true that experiences are an indispensable part of learning to start a venture, we must not forget that focusing an idea on innovation and not on established paradigms can be much more favorable. For this, unlearning is necessary.
But how do you learn to unlearn? What is the usefulness of this concept in the business environment? What should you unlearn? These questions are common and usually difficult to answer. This leads some entrepreneurs to choose obsolete models that already exist to start their small businesses.
In this article, I will define the basic concepts for learning how to unlearn. I will also provide small but important tips to make unlearning easier and help break down the barriers of the traditional by giving way to a new way of doing things.
Before explaining how to unlearn, it is important to define what this concept is. Unlearning is not about forgetting what you have learned. On the contrary, it is about being aware of it and still having the ability to modify habits or techniques in favor of personal or business evolution.
It is to detach yourself from the ideas or concepts that you have acquired throughout life that may be old and not very useful in order to take steps toward new methods, ideas and processes.
It consists, then, of breaking established patterns in society, keeping an open mind and understanding that changes are necessary and that implementing the ideas focused on the present moment will allow you to innovate and renew as many times as necessary to stay afloat.
In the business world, this concept plays a fundamental role. This is demonstrated by the famous phrase of American writer Alvin Toffler, who said, “The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
In a changing society where technological processes are becoming more and more present and individuals more and more demanding, undertaking this step is not only a challenge but also a necessity. It is necessary for emerging enterprises to focus on breaking with established paradigms. Even more so, it is necessary for entrepreneurs to be capable of challenging old concepts and proposing different ways of doing things.
All this to say it is not enough just to execute a good idea nowadays. It is necessary to have the capacity to reinvent, renew and adapt to the changing trends that appear within your market.
Unlearning: How To Do It
Although it is a simple concept, carrying out the process of unlearning can be complex, especially for those who are used to letting themselves be carried away by established patterns, previously raised ideas and already founded learning.
It is likely that the person willing to undertake this concept will be the target of criticism and comments that could discourage their beginnings. Therefore, I would say that unlearning requires full confidence in yourself to get out of your comfort zone.
So, how can you get started unlearning? Below, I’ll outline three simple steps that are useful in this process:
The first step is to identify in yourself the aspects that could impede your potential to break paradigms: beliefs and opinions, among other things. Carry out an internal diagnosis by identifying existing patterns and weaknesses.
Once the limitations, conditions or patterns that stand in the way of new, innovative and unusual ideas are identified, it is important to select and, to a greater or lesser extent, categorize each one of them. This represents an important part of the process, in which you are aware that you must leave what you know and what you do to acquire new methodologies that will lead you to obtain other results.
Within the path of learning to unlearn, change is the most complex of the steps. It requires willingness, confidence and, above all, persistence. Like any process, the results may not be immediately apparent. It is important, at all times, to keep an open mind to adapt to the changes that may arise within the change.
It is important to understand that nothing lasts forever; therefore, changes are indispensable, and you must adapt to them. Having a critical vision of what you have learned so far, and the willingness to replace this understanding with a new one, is the best unlearning method to take advantage of every unique situation.
In general terms, learning to unlearn is nothing more than executing, on a professional or personal level, a reflexive process that allows you to rethink what you had considered impossible to replace until now. This process entails breaking schemes that have so far been made unbreakable by a limited vision of “what should be.”
The capacity to learn is linked to the development of new competences and skills to obtain efficient and, above all, different results from the current ones. That is to say, if we do not manage to unlearn, we will be losing the possibility of promoting our lives, and in this case our entrepreneurship, to higher levels.
Learning to unlearn in order to undertake new ways of doing things is undoubtedly one of the main challenges for our society full of people with good ideas, who may not dare to fulfill them because they are unable to disassociate themselves from the prejudices of outdated learning.
Questioning reality and starting the construction of new, constantly updated schemes will help you face external situations, without losing the essence of the enterprise, but rather adapting it to the present moment.