Distracted Learning vs. Intentional Expansion

Okay, so, you’ve signed up for the latest training course, read the articles, watched the YouTube videos and listened to the podcasts. You know everything there is to know about your field of expertise, your new side-hustle, etc… Now what? 

A lot of people get to this point, armed with knowledge, and yet their imposter syndrome continues to tell them lies, such as:

  • “You don’t know what you’re doing”
  • “You’re going to fail”
  • “Everyone else has their shit together except for you”
  • “You’re going to make a fool out of yourself”

Is this you!?

Does imposter syndrome keep you stuck?

You have what it takes, you know the information, and yet, you find yourself back at the drawing board, reading more books and signing up for more webinars. Constantly searching for that missing piece or that AHA! moment that will make you feel “truly ready” and prepared to take the perfect next step. 

The “hustle” mentality tells us that if we keep grinding, keep working, keep learning, then we will continue to grow and move closer to our goals. But the truth is, there’s no perfect moment.

However, I’m here to tell you that learning doesn't always equal growing and here’s why…

If you aren’t entering into personal and professional development with intentional expansion in mind, the impactful learning experience you were looking for can actually be a detrimental distraction to your goals.

So, how can you tell the difference?


To be an expansion learner, you want to know why you’re learning this new thing. Is it moving you closer to your goals? Are you doing it because it brings you joy?

In other words, you want to be thoughtful and intentional about what and how you’re learning!

Then, ask yourself: Am I enjoying it? 

Here are a few examples of what learning looks like as intentional expansion:

  • Your dream copywriter released a course on writing a kick-ass email sequence that converts and you want to treat yourself all while gaining a new skill that will uplevel your business. You plan to put this new knowledge to work as soon as possible!
  • You recently came across a compassionate leadership course and realized its material really resonated with you and you know the information will help bring more value to your clients.


Distracted learning is the opposite. It’s our subconscious’ attempt at postponing the next step. It sets you up for failure and it makes you feel bad. 

If you relate to either of these examples, you might be stuck in distracted learning:

  • Over the past 12-months you’ve found yourself questioning your expertise and value and have bought course after course and training after training to make up for it.
  • Someone in a facebook group made a comment about how you have to have a certification for people to take you seriously and now you're spiraling into certification research and making a hasty decision before someone notices you don’t have one.

Are you registering for webinars, courses and programs over and over that you never make the time to show up or for? 

Are you attending them, yet never taking action?

Sometimes you need a distraction from real life and that’s okay. (I know this better than most.) But, if you’re guilty of doing this and can’t seem to break out of it, it begs the question: what are you afraid of?


Maya Angelou said ask for what you want and be prepared to get it. 

I say, ask SPECIFICALLY for what you want. 

If it’s important to you, you’ll figure out how to get it done and you’ll make the time! 

It’s truth time… You’re not too busy. You’re simply not prioritizing properly.

How we differentiate intentional expansion and self-sabotaging, distracted learning comes from slowing down and applying The BRAVE Method.

It starts with making commitments that are small, intentional and actionable—things you CAN do. The more you make time for the things that push you closer to your dreams, the more you bring your future vision to the here-and-now.

Are you distracting yourself from your dreams or intentionally expanding your horizons? If you’ve been reading this and feel called out, you’re welcome! NOW you can see what’s been happening and why your dreams feel so far away. 

So, let’s take this opportunity to make a change and get you back on track. Watch this video to learn how I took steps to better prioritize learning in my own life and how you can too!


More on this topic...

About the Author

Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.