The example of an overflowing teacup to illustrate my resistance to learning is apt. I’m so full of everything “I already know” I become unteachable.
On the second day of my material and processes class (M&P), at the New England School of Photography, I was talking with the teaching assistant about film and specifically which film was “better”. I had my brand and he had his. When he challenged my brand, I could feel the grandiose “lizard-brain” rise to protect me. The next thought I had saved my academic and professional career. Instead of doubling down on what I “knew for sure”, the idea of acting “as-if” I don’t know anything about photography arrived. I gave myself permission to be a beginner. I had the chance to actually learn stuff I already thought I knew.
The freedom and ease from not having to keep up the “know-it-all” act saved a lot of energy and stress. What I missed in grandiose posturing, I gained through humility. I also had a lot more fun.
I will never be entirely free of this self-defeating behavior but, every day provides new opportunities to learn and practice the alternative. For this, I am grateful