When was the last time you allowed yourself not to be good to start something new?
Sometimes, as adults, we tend to avoid new learning because there is less and less willingness to risk failure. Also, the old-fashioned, limiting belief “I’m too old to learn ….” are good reasons to prevent us from learning new skills or knowledge.
Knowing about neuroplasticity, though, which is the ability of the brain to modify its connections and re-wire itself and continually change, there are no doubts we can learn at any stage of our lives.
As adults, we do not simply receive knowledge created by others but should examine and contextualize it in our own reality. Adult learning is a continuous process of exploration, reflection, integration, and adjustments. We interpret ideas, skills, and knowledge through the medium of our life experiences and our own perceptions and biases. Being self-directed is the way we learn, create, visualize, rethink, and re-engineer our learning. It means the process is totally voluntary, and it’s up to us to identify the best strategies and resources to learn at our own pace and extent.
Based on extensive research and membership surveys, Toastmasters’ learning approach has been developed meticulously. Once a member joins a club, they can take a self-assessment, identifying a tailored learning path that meets their specific goals.
Learning paths correspond to the program’s five disciplines:
- Public Speaking + Management
- Public Speaking + Strategic Leadership
- Public Speaking + Interpersonal Communication
- Interpersonal Communication + Strategic Leadership
- Interpersonal Communication + Management
In total, there will be more than 50 learning projects—an educational journey that gives members more control of the skills they can develop and enables them to master particular competencies that are transferrable.
Working on these projects within a safe and familiar environment brings the consistency to develop a skill and, combined with continuous feedback and mentoring, accelerates learning and improvement.
The only thing for you to do is to decide whether you want to learn and grow.
Written by Mina Kostova