fear of looking like a learner

Rare is the bubbly, eager woman who comes into my workshop grinning like an eager beaver first-grader on the first day of school and announces, “I’m a beginner, a sponge. Teach me everything you know.” This is because everyone has FOLLL – Fear of Looking Like a Learner.

Fear of Looking Like a Learner

FOLLL looks like the new girl’s first day at her new high school. Over the top self conscious, she walks in late to the 11th grade second period history class trailing behind the principal. Everyone stops and stares as she not so nonchalantly makes her way to end of the 5th row, second to last desk and slips into the very noticeably wobbly chair. She’s not only afraid of looking like a loser (who doesn’t?), she has a fear of looking like a learner.

I remember a similar fear. I used eye avoidance while making myself smaller and hopefully unnoticed at my desk, all to avoid the possibility of the embarrassment of having the teacher call on me and, after not knowing the answer, appearing stupid and being laughed at. FOLLL.

We take a class to learn what we do not yet know, yet show up with a fear of looking like a learner. We automatically assume that everyone else is so much more smarter, talented, quick-witted, better prepared and advanced than we are.

Let’s break this down:
Looking Like a Learner


Having a fresh start
People will help you
You gain confidence
You can ask questions
No bad habits to overcome
The possibilities are endless
New connections form in the brain
Eager anticipation makes you look younger


Worrying about what others will think

I’m sure you can think of a few more reasons why it’s not only better to look like but to

BE a learner.

Next time the opportunity to learn arises, I bet you’ll be the eager bubbly one with stars in her eyes. I sure hope so.