This post is largely visual and is drawn from an insight I had with a client last week when trying to explain ‘Unlearning’.
I’m very much interested in your feedback as I think this is a useful conceptual and visual model. It is not Yin/Yang or Tao but shares a number of their principles while exhibiting a number of differences.
The concept is sort of simple.
Imagine a ball is one half Learn the other half Unlearn.
For learning to take place you replace the unlearning – with each being of equal force/quantity.
The notion is the effort to change is driven by the fact that not only do you need to adopt new learning but you need to displace old learning of an equal mental/ emotional weight.
This is the cornerstone of the model, as displayed on the left.
You may think it is easy to reject this with a model based on your ability to learn new skills but consider that many of these new skills will be ones you had not previously thought you could adopt:
You are usurping the belief that you Can’t with the belief that you Can.
Until the Can’t is fully displaced there is no way that you Can.
Have I lost you yet?
I hope not.
You will be in two minds about this post. Either you think I’m right or I’m wrong.
I can’t be a bit wrong – because that still means I’m wrong.
So until you can feel that no part of it is wrong then you can’t feel that the whole thing is right.
You must completely displace all of your ‘wrong’ sentiment with something of equal force that it is ‘right’. The process is incomplete until you entirely replace one with the other.
As a further illustration, consider completely new learning.
At first this stumped me. Until I realised Knowledge replaces Ignorance. Further if you choose to ignore ‘knowledge’ you must therefore be choosing ‘ignorance’ (not choosing to Learn).
I was taught by my first coach – What you resist resists.
I think in many ways this model is a versatile articulation of that principle and shows clearly why change resists and why life can feel so out of balance – particularly when you are going through significant change.
Note also: with this model the healthy or desired option is always on top.
I have written a much longer paper/exploration on this, which I am willing to share with anyone who is interested. Please contact me if you wish to review this and provide feedback. I explore sequences, nesting and evolutionary learning based on this simple model. I have used the term ‘ULO’ (Unlearn Learn Orb) to describe the model.
Many thanks, Richard