The frustration of learning


A few months ago, I decided I had had enough of the rat race. Over the years, I’ve often thought and talked about getting off the “hamster wheel” without knowing how to do it, but most importantly what I really wanted to do in its place. That all changed when I started getting involved in the Personal Development community. Little by little, a vision started forming in my head and in November last year, that vision became clear. I finally knew what my mission in life was supposed to be!

Now, as I start delving into my new career the most striking thing I discovered is that I am way out of my comfort zone, way out of my depth. Everything I am looking into, every step I take is to research, learn, try, do something I have not really done before. Some of it, such as social media, I have dabbled into simply because I have a Facebook page. However, I’ve not delved into any of it with any degree of depth.

For the first time in a long time, I have no idea what I’m doing and it scares the heck out of me! I’m also exceedingly frustrated. I spend a lot of time researching. Everything take 10 times as long to do because I’m learning along the way. But, I have to do it, so, I have to learn some coping skills.

Here are some of the strategies I’ve used along the way, that maybe can help you if you are going through some struggles and frustrations:

  1. Take a deep breath
    It’s amazing what a few deep breaths will do. Focusing on my breathing is like a mini meditation. Breathing allows me to get perspective. Things don’t’ seem so daunting after a few deep breaths. I take 5 breaths inhaling on the count of 4 through the nose and exhaling on the count of 6 through the mouth. I imagine freshness coming in and staleness and frustration going out.
  2. Be patient.
    Accept that this is new and will take some time getting used to. Patience has never been my strong suit. I like things to be efficient and for me to be effective. Not being able to conquer it all is frustrating! But I’m also learning. I’ve been in my career for a long time and what I have learned has been acquired over years and years of practice. I’m like a well-oiled machine. I need to develop new skills, but not being able to get things done as quickly is a new sensation.
  3. Learn the skills you need
    I’m learning new things every da. I have made a list of what I need to learn and I add to it and practice some things until I feel like I have a handle on them. Others take more time and more research and that’s OK. Wen I go into a new job, I learn new things. Some of them feel very uncomfortable while I am doing them. What makes me think this would be any different?
  4. Progress. Not perfection
    Begin a virgo, the thought of not being perfect is unthinkable! 😉 But I have to accept that  what I am looking for at this point is not perfection, but progress. Focusing on progress allows me to see how far I’ve come from a few months ago, rather than looking at how much more I have to go.
  5. Ask for help
    I don’t have to go this alone. There are so many resources out there. Friends, family, mentors, coaches, websites, articles. You name it! If you look a little bit, you can find all of the help you can get. If, like me, you learn from others, find those who can help you. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and people will generally go out of their way to help.
  6. If all else fails, walk away
    Sometimes, the best thing I can do is walk away. Get my mind thinking about other things. Focus on something I can or enjoy doing. I pick up a book. Watch a show. Go for a walk. Anything. Anything that will get me out of my head and back on track.

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