The Lesson of UNlearning

By Lori Bestler


The other day my dear friend, business colleague, and past client Teresa Thomas; director of an increasingly growing networking organization in the Twin Cities called WIN-Women in Networking, gave me some fun cards called “The Unlearning” Curve by Jack Uldrich. I learned about the Unlearning concept while getting certified as a Neuro Linguistic Practitioner. Teresa’s kindness prompted me to get the message of UNlearning out to my faithful followers, those committed to positive thinking and growing as much as possible.

Here is the analogy of UNlearning; the greater our knowledge expands, the more we realize our ignorance and admit our shortcomings. We must accept the fact that life will reveal falsehoods when we’re willing to see them. And many truths are found beyond the comfort zone of conformity. This demonstrates that there is always so much more to learn and UNlearn.

Who doesn’t want abundance?  Well this might be a surprise to some, that living an abundant life is not found in striving for perfection or being smart “enough”, for each of us certainly can constantly find areas where we will still feel stupid. In truth, we are both smart and stupid. Claiming a label of one or the other is a tragic generalization; both a truth and a lie. Your reality is all a matter of what you’re focusing on. To really live an enjoyable life, it is vital to embrace that which prompts your curiosities to look beyond what’s obvious, and be the best you possible. Be a person that you truly love. And by all means, enjoy the journey of evolution.

Alvin Toffler wrote, “The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, UNlearn, and relearn.”

Have you ever wondered how you could maintain the fountain of youth? Simply continue on an unceasing path of UNlearning the limiting beliefs that hold you back. These might have been useful in your childhood to teach you boundaries, morals, and value systems, yet now are not working in your best interest. They weigh you down and make you feel bad, sad, guilty, fearful, or angry and doubt that life could be better.

Just yesterday a new coaching client said during her consultation, “My grandmother always said, “Don’t eat that, you’ll get fat.”  Guess what one of her struggles is?

I remember a math teach once calling me stupid. He told me I would NEVER be good at math.  For years I was afraid of numbers, would not, could not balance my checkbook.  Then one day I “SHIFTED” my perspective and played around with the stock market.  I discovered I am good at math!!!

As we mature we realize that many truths we have been taught have been turned into falsehoods. To walk in a pathway of limitless growing, we must cast the opinions of others aside and be willing to define and refine truth through our own experiences.

As I work with my coaching clients and teach them several tools for personal or professional transformation, a large part of our time together is spent UNlearning. The reason why I use both conscious and subconscious modalities of change is because UNlearning is not just an intellectual activity. UNlearning is much harder than learning because thoughts have been engrained in the deeper mind, shaping Neuro pathways and emotional triggers.

Every day spent repeating useless habits, staying stuck in stinkin’ thinkin’ patterns, and following the same insane path that is taking you nowhere but being miserable; takes twice as long to fix.

I understand UNlearning very well.

You see I once thought that I looked fat. Even at 115lbs, I thought I looked ugly. That belief took me on a 7 year battle with eating disorders. Starving for a week, then eating everything in sight until my once starving stomach could not hold another bite and had to purge it all.

After climbing the corporate ladder of 14 years, I became a dislocated worker as the company shut down. My dream of working hard, going to night school, retiring at 50 became another unfortunate experience where life proved to not keep its promises.

Diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 41, put me on a path of feeling like a reject. The medical system failed me and prescribed antidepressants which put me on a downward spiral I could barely survive.

Divorced at the age of 46, a single parent, forced to shaving the balls off my sweaters and sewing the holes in my socks and underwear, starting over and struggling financially.

The list goes on…

Yet I rose above them all with an inner spirit that refused to give up. My journey, my experiences, my struggles and set-backs, my lessons learned and UNlearned became my life’s purpose; to teach people how to think.

Maybe today is the day you will decide to stop putting off the decision to get help, to change, to be a better, happier, healthier, or more successful you.

People who have tried and tried to be happier, healthier, or more successful yet keep hitting walls are often stuck because they must end what used to be. They must release the old ways before they can begin to totally enter into the realm of a new life; of limitless possibilities and unleashing unlimited potential.

I have learned that only the hand that erases can write a best seller. And only those willing to step outside the box can comprehend a broadening perspective that will take them beyond the barriers.

If you want to live a great life, then UNlearning is essential.

That is what the guidance of my Strategic Mind Coaching program does. It helps clients UNlearn that which is no longer useful. It teaches how get rid of what is not working, and remove the painful past that is not serving your well-being or shaping your highest self possible.

Though out life I have constantly heard about one quality people who rose above their challenges did…they asked for help. They had someone to support them, encourage them, and show them how to move beyond their barriers. You only know what you know, and continuing to do things the same way over and over again, thinking you know what is necessary to break through, is insanity and painful.

Choose today to ask for help. Find someone to help you UNlearn what is hindering your progress and keeping you stuck. You deserve it!! We all do!

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This article was written by Lori Bestler-Strategic Mind Coach and Award Winning Motivational Speaker with MindScapes Unlimited Mind Coaching Center in Lino Lakes MN.

Lori Bestler specializes in working with high level entrepreneurs and independent business professionals with busy minds; often they are stuck and struggling to reach the level of success they know they are capable of. They want more control of their life, yet their racing mind and shifting priorities hinders their health, productivity and ability to realize a higher level of success and fulfillment in life. Stress, anxiety, lack of focus and follow through, procrastination and paralyzing negative thinking are common problems. With Strategic Mind Coaching and speaking engagements, Lori has helped thousands of individuals live the life they desire most. For a NO COST “Rapid Change” Consultation contact Lori at And join our email list for a FREE “Be Revived and Energized 10 minute MP3 download and Monthly Newsletter.

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