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January 27, 20232 min read

One of the biggest hurdles of learning is expectation-

Expectation to show progress
Expectation to be validated
Expectation to do more
Expectation to move along father than we are ready for
Expectation to be working on something different

I think every human alive, if they’re honest, has grappled with these. Sometimes we hear what we need to work on and take offense, or feel ashamed, or go down the spiral of self deprecation. Sometimes we hear it as judgement or an insult, instead of simply a pathway forward- Sometimes our expectation leads us to lose the teaching moment, and can take us a while to sort through emotionally.

As a student myself, I’ve struggled with all of these. Sometimes I’ve wanted to show my teacher my best, and they take me back to the basics or have me clean up a training mess I made. Sometimes I’ve heard truths that I needed to hear but didn’t enjoy hearing. There have been times where I’ve had to sort through the emotional aftermath of a learning situation.

I’ve learned that being willing to give up expectation for any and all of these has set me free to learn well, and much faster. Learning to be open to the moment and the feedback without taking any of it personally has been the greatest gift I have given myself.

As a teacher, I recognize these moments when they come up with students. I’m going to have to address what’s not working to give you a pathway forward. I’m going to occasionally burst your bubble, and it may lead you to an uncomfortable mental place. I can say all these things as caring as possible, I can give them in compliment sandwich format, I can make sure you know it is not a judgement, only a place that needs some cleaning up.

I can support and guide you, but the emotional work, the work of learning not to take feedback personally, of taking ownership of your expectation, of keeping an open mind, of working on emotional control, is entirely in your own hands.

Amy Skinner

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