5 lessons I have learned from falling over this year

5 lessons and more…. In the last six weeks I have had some spectacular falls! Literally. My oldest daughter received roller blades for Christmas, and learning to roller blade with Jessi seemed like a fun mother-daughter activity…

It has been fun, and a great reminder of the tricks and traps of learning.

1) When I am tense, I am more likely to fall. (And when I am tense and fall, it’s more likely to hurt!)

When I encourage my body and my mind to relax, my roller blading adventure is more successful and I spend less time in inelegant positions on the ground.

There’s some science to this. Anxiety activates the amygdala – the fear centre of the brain. When fear is the most dominant emotion (and this has happened while roller blading) it taxes the unconscious mind that does most of the fast processing of information. Fear results in valuable resources being taken away from the thinking centre of the brain, just when you need it most.

2) When I focus on not falling, I usually do.

Imagine us blading past a Sunday afternoon baseball game – the bike path near our home runs between the stand and the pitch. I focus on not falling, and then….

When I am going fast down a slope and a big crack in the footpath appears, I notice myself thinking ‘I don’t want to fall here’. And then I do.

‘What you focus on determines what you get’ is something I often say to my clients. The unconscious mind doesn’t process negatives, so ‘not falling’ is sending a direct message to my unconscious mind to fall.

When change my self-talk to ‘blade smoothly through this place’, that’s usually what happens.

3) Visualizing my success helps. 

When I have a moment to visualize how I will approach today’s activity, I always do better. Again there is brain science to support this. Imagery acts as a precursor to action by stimulating the action centres of the brain.

And then of course I need to practice.

4) Encouragement helps.

Last weekend I mastered a turn on a narrow path, and remained upright. ‘You did it Mum!’ – Jessi was genuinely excited for me. Her encouragement and pleasure in my (small) success boosted my confidence.

5) 6 year-olds learn to roller blade faster and with greater grace than 40-somethings! 

No clever message from this!

So if you are ready for some active fun, go out and get some roller blades (and safety gear). And notice the tricks and traps of learning.

What’s your experience of the tricks and traps of learning?  Leave a comment below.

Have an Extraordinary day