Use a Metaphor
By using a story or metaphor you can get your message across in a simple yet indirect manner. The listener can take their own learning from the story. This means you avoid telling someone directly how they should think about or do something. What’s more, metaphors provide fun ways to illustrate a point or provide a different perspective.
Here’s an example about learning a new skill
You might feel a little awkward when learning a new skill. You often go through a phase where you need to practice consistently in order to become proficient. If you compare your level of competence with an expert in that field you might experience a temporary loss of confidence.
Stick with it!
At these times it’s easy to become frustrated and give up – returning to the comfort zone you had before you started learning. The only way to become really good at something is to practice. But practice usually involves making mistakes. And many people feel uncomfortable and awkward about making mistakes.
I remember when I learnt to juggle. Juggling is primarily about accurate throwing — and much less about accurate catching. So the first thing I had to master was how to let the ball drop to the floor without trying to catch it. I had to unlearn the automatic reflexes associated with catching a ball and learn to feel OK with making mistakes in order to get better at juggling.
Let go the ball, let go the old ways of thinking.
The more I practised letting go of those old ideas about having to catch the ball, the easier it was. It’s not like I was going to forget how to catch a ball in hurry, anyway! I focussed on accurate throwing and developing a rhythm, which were new skills. If I caught the ball, without rushing around like a mad woman, that was great, it meant my throwing was improving. If my throwing was out, I let the ball land on the floor. Picking up juggling balls was good exercise both physically and mentally.
Yes, it was good exercise mentally because I demonstrated to myself that learning by making mistakes is OK.