How to be TEACHABLE or UNTEACHABLE

My embarrassing unteachable moment was when I was 18 and went to a new gym with a friend. I had no idea what I was doing with the equipment and how to do some of the exercises correctly, but that sure didn’t stop me. I was trying to do some ab crunches on the exercise ball. Clearly I was failing miserably, because one of the gym instructors walked over to correct me and show me how to PROPERLY do the exercise. Well, I didn’t like being told what to do, so I got defensive, and tried to explain that I was doing this exercise like this ON PURPOSE. After a few minutes of that he gave up. No wonder I didn’t get any more help at the gym with how to properly operate other equipment, I didn’t even want to learn the right ways. My poor ego. 😀 

What does TEACHABLE even mean?

According to Google, the first definition of teachable comes up as: able to learn by being taught.

The opposite of that is UNteachable: unable to be taught.

Think of the difference between a rock and a ball of clay, or play-do. The rock is hard and cannot be molded or shaped easily. The play-do is soft and pliable, easy to shape into something. 

How to be Teachable 

(hint: it’s all about the attitude)

  • Being aware that you don’t know everything
  • Asking for help/advice/instructions
  • Being OK to step out of your comfort zone (so hard for me, I’m such a creature of habit)
  • Not giving up when it doesn’t work out the 1sttime, or 2ndtime, etc.; trying to see what you need to do differently to get it to work 
  • Asking for feedback (not my favorite, unless I know it’s going to be positive, haha)
  • Reading/watching/listening to things you’re curious to learn more about
  • Listening more than talking at times
  • Reflecting (thinking carefully, deeply about the issue at hand)
  • Willing to unlearn and relearn

How to be Unteachable  

(also, all about the attitude)

  • Think you’re always right
  • Never ask for help/advice/instructions
  • Don’t do anything different
  • Get defensive about your ideas/thoughts/actions
  • Act/speak impulsively instead of thinking things through or reflecting 
  • Never want to learn how to be better

Being teachable means you have a growth mindset (more on that later) as opposed to being unteachable, which is having a fixed mindset. 

I would rather be a teachable ball of play-do that can adjust and learn rather than being a hard rock that’s stuck in her ways forever. Yes, it’s more difficult, but I think it’s worth it. What do you think?

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