Studying as an adult is hardddd, but it is definitely possible to achieve more confident and resilient learning. Working on your mindset and learning some key confidence strategies can shift your perspective and help you study with more self-compassion, self-awareness and self-confidence – so you can graduate with the grades you really want.

In this week’s post, we’re going to learn some key studying lessons from a recent event – Lewis Capaldi’s 2023 Glastonbury performance and subsequent announcement that he is taking a break from touring.

Now whether you’re a Lewis Capaldi fan or not, or even whether or not you know him, this post is going to identify three key lessons that you can apply straight away to your studying to achieve more confident and resilient learning.

This post originated as a podcast episode which you can listen to below or search for episode 146 of the Chloe Made Me Study podcast. Or, if you’re more of a learn-by-reading student, carry on for the rough-and-ready blog version based on the podcast script.

Ways to listen:

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OK so in this episode I want to talk about something quite topical. You may or may not have seen that musician Lewis Capaldi played at Glastonbury a few weekends ago, didn’t complete his set and is now taking an indefinite break from performing. I was at Glastonbury and I watched his set and I wanted to share my thoughts on the lessons that we can take from Lewis’ experience that we can apply to our own studying so we can become more confident, resilient, self-compassionate learners.

I’ll walk you through what happened briefly and then I’ll share the four key takeaways.

The documentary – Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now

If you haven’t already watched Lewis’ documentary that came out earlier this year – How I’m Feeling Now – I’d highly recommend it. You can find it on Netflix. It’s a really good documentary that covers his intense feelings of imposter syndrome as he worked on his second album. The documentary spoke a lot about Lewis’ mental health but it also revealed that he was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome in 2022 which has been affecting his performances.

What happened at Glastonbury?

Lewis had taken three weeks off before Glastonbury, cancelling some shows, so that he could rest and be in great shape mentally for this performance. And I was beyond excited to see him. Weirdly, I don’t listen to his music much but I fell in love with him on TikTok during the first lockdown and, like many, I love how witty and down-to-earth he is. I’d listened to a few of his interviews and seen his documentary so I knew I wanted to see him perform live.

It was sunny and hot as hellll at Glastonbury and the crowd were so excited and enthusiastic when he came on and during his first amazing song, Forget Me. As soon as the song finished, he had a good chat with the crowd, shared how terrified he was and then went into his second song, Pointless. His Tourette’s became quite apparent and he began coughing multiple times throughout his songs.

After his third song he told the crowd that he was losing his voice and that he needed some help singing. After the fourth he said how annoyed he was with himself and that he would try to keep going.

He ended with a fifth song, Someone You Love, which he was barely able to sing but the ENTIRE crowd sang it for him. He thanked the crowd and ended his set after 33 minutes instead of the scheduled hour.

3 key lessons for more confident and resilient learning

OK, so here are the three key takeaways from Lewis’ experience that you can apply to your studying.

1. Know yourself so you can make self-compassionate, empowered decisions that will help you achieve more confident and resilient learning

Even from Lewis’ documentary it’s clear how much pressure he feels to produce new music that will be loved as much as his first album, to tour and play live. I can’t even imagine that kind of pressure but I think all of us as students can relate to the theme. There’s a few strands. The pressure we put on ourselves to do well. If we achieve a good grade, we then experience immense pressure to try to replicate the result. If we achieve a not so good grade we feel immense pressure to turn it around.

Additionally, returning to study disrupts our lives but may also disrupt the lives of others including our family and friends. We can feel pressure to *not* study from people in our lives who would rather we spend time with them instead of studying, or maybe this pressure is rooted in some people in our circles feeling threatened by our success.

Even more so, when we have disrupted our lives and others to study we may feel even more pressure to make it worth it – to get the great results to secure the epic career opportunities.

Now, despite this enormous pressure on Lewis he knew himself and did what he needed to do for him. When his voice started going after the third song he apologised a lot and said how he didn’t want to let everyone down. He talked about the little break he’d had before Glastonbury and then said how he was likely going to have to take another one now, potentially for the rest of the year, which felt like a spur-of-the-moment decision brought on by his Glastonbury set.

You could tell how upset he was by his performance but he made smart, self-compassionate decisions. He asked the crowd to sing with him, he kept everyone entertained with good chat and fun, and he explained how taking a step back would mean he could come back greater.

A few days after Glastonbury, Lewis posted on Instagram thanking everyone who sang along with him and who messaged him afterwards. He shared that he had now decided to take a break from touring and his remaining dates this year would be cancelled.

“I’m still learning to adjust to the impact of my Tourette’s and on Saturday it became obvious I need to spend much more time getting my mental and physical health in order…I need to feel well to perform at the standard you all deserve.”

Uff, it takes SUCH courage to be able to make big decisions for yourself. So how can you apply this lesson from Lewis to your own studying?

There’s the self-compassion piece. Making decisions for *you* even if you know they may impact others. Declining social/family events because you need to work on your essay. Having uncomfortable conversations with your partner, children, family, friends or manager about your learning and studying needs.

And to get to self-compassion you need to cultivate self-knowing – self-awareness. You have to really know yourself – your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, likes, dislikes, dreams, fears, habits, preferences.

This is a big focus in my membership. In the Kickbutt Students Club we bake reflection and opportunities for self-awareness into everything we do. In the Sunday accountability post that helps you wrap up the week, one of the questions is, ‘What have you learned about yourself this week?’ It always sparks some amazing insights. For example: ‘taking a break when I get stuck helps me problem solve’ or ‘I have a tendency to set unrealistic goals which makes me feel like crap so moving forward I’m going to be kinder and focus on just one or two priorities.’

During the coach-led virtual study sessions I’ll ask everyone to check in with their progress over the two hours and offer up any reflections on how the session went and what they might change next time to study even more efficiently.

It’s really easy to just coast through life without stopping and learning about the person you’re going through life with – YOURSELF!

When we know ourselves we can make the best decisions for ourselves – from an empowered place – which will help us to achieve more confident and resilient learning.

2. Ask for help and lean on your community to support you as you work towards more confident and resilient learning

From the get go of Lewis’ set, the crowd were singing along and you can hear it clearly in the coverage on BBC which is still available. There was a little break before his second song and the crowd started chanting, ‘Ohhhh Lewis Capaldi’ to the tune of the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army…When Lewis came back to the mic he replied, ‘Oh that’s enough, I don’t need Jack White making money off of this situation!’

For other musicians, between songs there’s normally a lot of screaming but for Lewis the crowd were shouting encouragement like you would at a school sports day. It was genuinely lovely. At one point a guy next to me in a bucket hat turned and said to his mates, ‘you know what? I wasn’t sure about Lewis before today but I’m officially a fan boy!’

Lewis specifically asked the crowd for help, saying he would appreciate everyone singing loud to help him out. As the set progressed he apologised many times saying how sorry he was that his voice was going. And what did the crowd do? People didn’t leave, they didn’t boo, they didn’t heckle. They doubled down on cheering and chanting ‘Ohhh Lewis Capaldi.’

THIS is the power of community. Of having people in your corner to support you as you work towards more confident and resilient learning. Now not everyone has 100,000 people to shout encouragement at them as they study, but hopefully you have one or two genuine, consistent supporters for your studying life. The takeaway here is to lean into the support of your community. Ask for what you need, share your truth with them. Share your fears and worries and ask for their support. Caveat your request with what you need – are you looking for advice or simply a safe sounding board? It’s OK to ask for what you need. And remember that you deserve the support that you willingly give to those you love.

This third one follows on nicely.

3. Share your truth and experiences in a safe space that empowers your confident and resilient learning

After the first song Lewis was chatting to the crowd and he apologised for rambling saying he was quite literally pooping his pants right now. 

When I am open about my struggles it can really help lessen their impact. If I’m feeling anxious before delivering a live training for example, I’ll share that. You might think that would put people off but actually it ends up doing the opposite and probably makes me more relatable and human. My aim is to normalise feeling anxious before big things – that despite the fact I’ve taught hundreds of trainings, I still feel nervous before each one.

The important thing here is to ensure you’re sharing your experience with the right people. Being open and vulnerable only works in a safe space otherwise you can get hurt. Bizarrely, Glastonbury in front of 100,000 people was a safe space for Lewis – because everyone had come to the Pyramid Stage to see him.

For me, a safe space is amongst my peers. I could share about my struggles with friends or family. Yes, they would try to support me but they may not really understand my situation or be able to validate my experiences or offer any tangible advice. So, earlier this year, I enrolled in a small mastermind of business owners – all in different fields but with similar business models to me. And it’s been one of the only places that I feel comfortable and safe to share the many highs and lows of running my own business.

Not everyone has incredible supporters in their lives and that’s really hard. It’s one of the reasons I started my membership, the Kickbutt Student Club. When you’re studying as a mature student it’s likely that most of your friends and family are *not* also studying. Which can make for a pretty lonely experience. For my students, the KSC is a safe space. Where they can share their wins with people who truly want to see them do well, and where they can show up and share their struggles or the parts of themselves that they may struggle to accept. Among people who’ve been there and get it and won’t judge them for it.

The KSC is specifically for non-traditional learners. Studying all different subjects but with many shared qualities. All are adult learners with many in their thirties and forties – though the membership cohort spans decades. The majority are working, many full-time. Many also have kids or other responsibilities such as caring or volunteering.

Just today, someone did a farewell post in the KSC community to share that she’d completed her degree. She said, ‘Sending a BIG thanks to Chloe and everyone who has supported me over the past few years with study sessions, zoom room chatter, and sharing their own journeys, struggles, and amazing accomplishments, all to help me realise I am part of a community I can relate to and share my experiences with.’ 

If your circle is a bit lacklustre or you don’t have enough people around you who get what it’s like to return to study, what can you do to find community? Whether it’s seeing if your university has social or study groups or joining the waitlist for my membership, the Kickbutt Students Club, for when it opens again in October.

So there we have it…

Three key lessons from Lewis Capaldi’s Glastonbury experience that you can apply to achieve more confident and resilient learning.

  1. Cultivate the self-awareness and self-compassion to make empowered decisions in your studying and life
  2. Lean on your community for support and ask for what you need
  3. Find a safe space of peers to support you in your studying journey – peers who understand what you’re going through.

And if you like the sound of my membership, the Kickbutt Students Club, then be sure to check it out and join the waitlist. We open enrolment for the 23/24 academic year early October. Moving forward we are ONLY opening three times a year so you’ll definitely want to join the waitlist to ensure you hear all the details first. You’ll also get early access AND a special waitlist-only offer.

~ FREE TRAINING ~

How to Actually START Your Essay

Workbook + video training to take you from procrastination and overwhelm to understanding your question and mapping out your ideas with momentum. Easier, faster essay writing (and higher grades) await.

Start Your Essay

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