Is Experience Really the Best Teacher?

It’s often said that experience is the best teacher. But is that really true? It may be true that we remember “experiences” more than things we only saw, read, or heard about, because oftentimes experiences engage our emotions and senses in heightened ways.

However, if you think about experience being the best teacher then you’re extremely limited in your learning. That’s because quite often experience is a one-time thing.

Now, certainly there are times where we only need one experience to learn. For example, put your hand on a hot stove and you’ll burn yourself. You’ll learn very quickly through experience, never do that again! 

But what about something like getting burned in a relationship? If the first time you fell in love you were burned, do you think that would be a good reason to never believe love was worth pursuing again? Getting burned may have taught you some things about people and relationships, but hopefully your takeaway wasn’t to avoid deep, committed relationships.

Another example might have occurred if you tried your hand at sales. If you were rejected right off the bat, or several times in a row, you might erroneously conclude that sales isn’t for you. But selling is a skill which means you can learn how to do it and you can get better through practice.

Failure is an experience but shouldn’t be a deterrent in every case. What we learn from failure and how we adjust can turn something that initially seemed negative into something very positive.

As we approach the beginning of another new year, many of us see that as a time for a fresh start. However, many others avoid making resolutions or setting goals because it’s almost a running joke that we’ll break them shortly after making them. 

I encourage you to think differently about the upcoming year. Just because you’ve had a negative experience making resolutions or setting goals in the past, that shouldn’t be a deterrent to trying again. People rarely succeed at things that matter unless they have a clear goal and a plan of action to make it become a reality.

Keep your eye out for my post on December 27th because it will outline four easy steps you can take to make reaching your 2022 goals far more likely.

Brian Ahearn, CPCU, CTM, CPT, CMCT

Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE. An author, TEDx speaker, international trainer, coach, and consultant, he’s one of only a dozen people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the science of ethical influence.

Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE, was named one of the 100 Best Influence Books of All Time by BookAuthority. His follow-up, Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents, was an Amazon new release bestseller. His new business parable, The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness, is now available.

Brian’s LinkedIn courses on persuasive selling and coaching have been viewed by more than 400,000 people around the world.


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