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Applied AI @ OpenAI • Startups GTM • On Deck Fellow • Proud Son • Duke + Wisconsin Alum • Building for impact • Venture Scout • Neo Mentor • Duke AI Advisory Board

15 September 2022

How to Learn to Unlearn

by Shyamal Anadkat

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Unlearning is the process of discarding or revising outdated, inaccurate, or limiting beliefs, habits, or skills that hinder your personal or professional growth. Unlearning is essential in a rapidly changing and complex world, where new information, perspectives, and challenges constantly emerge. Unlearning can help you adapt to new situations, enhance performance, improve relationships, and achieve goals. How can you learn to unlearn effectively? Here are some steps and strategies to guide you.

First, identify and challenge your assumptions. Assumptions are mental shortcuts or filters that influence how you perceive and respond to reality. Assumptions can be helpful or harmful, depending on their validity, relevance, and flexibility. To unlearn, you need to question and test your assumptions and be open to new or contradictory evidence. You can ask questions, seek feedback, explore alternatives, or test hypotheses.

Second, seek and embrace new information and experiences. New information and experiences can expose you to different viewpoints, evidence, or possibilities that can challenge or expand your existing knowledge and skills. Seeking and embracing new information and experiences can foster your curiosity, creativity, and adaptability. You can read widely, take courses, travel, or network.

Third, reflect and reframe your learning. Reflection is the process of examining and evaluating your thoughts, feelings, and actions in relation to your learning goals and outcomes. Reflection can help you identify what you have learned, unlearned, or need to learn more and how you can apply or transfer your learning to different contexts or situations. You can do this by keeping a journal, using models or frameworks, or engaging in dialogue or mentoring. Unlearning is not easy, but it is rewarding. Unlearning is a continuous and lifelong process that requires openness, humility, and resilience. Unlearning can help you grow as a person and a professional. Unlearning is not a sign of weakness but of strength. It shows that you are willing to challenge yourself, learn from your mistakes, and embrace change. Unlearning can help you overcome biases, blind spots, or barriers that prevent you from reaching your full potential.

tags: Learning - Thoughts