I wonder if you can remember that moment when you learnt to ride a bike? I can. I’m pretty sure I progressed straight from a tricycle to a two-wheeler, without the benefit of training wheels, but with the presence of super-patient parents who took it in turns to run along beside me holding the back of the saddle.
Their cunning strategy was to employ a lighter and lighter touch, eventually running beside me but not actually touching the saddle, and of course by that stage, even though I didn’t realise it, I was peddling along under my own steam.
Then before I knew it I gasped in astonishment as I saw them across the garden instead of being where they should have been alongside me.
‘If they’re not here, then, what the – WAHEY! – I’m riding my bike!’
I’m sure the next moment saw a shock-induced wobble, but the good work had been done. I’d seen I could ride a bike. On my own.
Let’s think about the four feelings which probably resulted from picking up this new skill:
1. The process of learning itself kept me curious and engaged: would I really be able to ride a bike? Just think… Where would I be able to go once I’d learned? It was fun. It was a mission.
2. Once I’d seen I could ride the bike I had an enormous sense of accomplishment. I did it. I did it!
3. Of course this boosted my self confidence. Surely anything would be possible now I’d pulled off the task of learning to ride a bike.
4. My resilience received a boost too. No matter how many times I might have fallen off, I’d overcome the obstacles and ended up a bike rider.
Overall, I know it felt great. I’m sure my mood was on top form that day.
I’m pretty sure you and I can replay some, if not all, of these emotional responses by ensuring that we’re always learning new things. So what will you learn today?
You can do it. You can.