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learn (something) the hard way
To learn or discover something through personal experience, especially that which is difficult, painful, or unpleasant. Starting your own business is really tough. I had to learn that the hard way. Everyone will tell you that becoming a parent is challenging, but you never really know what that means until you learn about it the hard way.
growth experienceand growth opportunity; learning experience
Euph. an unpleasant experience. This job has been a growth experience for me. I've learned so much. Jim said that his trip to Mexico turned out to be a real learning experience.
little knowledge is a dangerous thingand little learning is a dangerous thing
Prov. Cliché If you only know a little about something, you may feel you are qualified to make judgments when, in fact, you are not. After Bill read one book on the history of Venezuela, he felt he was an authority on the subject, but he wound up looking like a fool in discussions with people who knew a lot more about it than he did. A little learning is a dangerous thing.
There is no royal road to learning.
Prov. Learning things requires work. Sue: I don't see why we have to do homework every night. Why can't we just listen to the lectures? Nancy: There is no royal road to learning.
little knowledge is a dangerous thing, a
Also, a little learning is a dangerous thing. Knowing a little about something tempts one to overestimate one's abilities. For example, I know you've assembled furniture, but that doesn't mean you can build an entire wall system; remember, a little knowledge . This maxim, originally a line from Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism (1709), has been repeated with slight variations ever since. It is still heard, although less frequently, and sometimes shortened, as in the example.