The frustrations of Learning by Dr. Munn, online psychotherapist for professional women of color and child and adolescent psychotherapist in Mountain View, CA

As much training and education I’ve received over the course of my career, I still get very frustrated when I don’t know how to do something and when something is really hard for me. I especially get frustrated when I’m not progressing at my “ideal” rate, particularly given the intense amount of effort, time and finances invested. I’m proud though of my “growth mindset,” which has gotten me very far in life. Even though something might feel novel and difficult, I have internalized the belief that I can learn.

I remember telling a friend at the age of 17, I’m not smart; I have average intelligence; I just work really hard. His response was, “Munn, working hard is a sign of intelligence.” That caused me to reflect on my ideas about intelligence and ability and where they emerged from, which is not surprising given the line of work I landed in. I share this to emphasize that most of us (not speaking specifically to the bottom 2-3% or the top 1-2% on a normal curve) have to work hard to develop mastery, which includes but not limited to sacrifice, sleepless nights, tears, and feelings of frustration, loneliness, and momentary desires to quit.

This week I completed a psychodiagnostic report in 16 hours which would have taken 2x longer 1.5 years ago and 3x longer 3 years ago. This shows me that I can learn something very challenging with much time, effort, help, dedication, patience, and perseverance. The truth is, we all can learn, including you and your children, even with special needs. So stay encouraged and keep moving forward.

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Disclaimer: The content in this post is only intended to increase your knowledge on parenting and child development; it is not online therapy. If you’re concerned about your child’s immediate safety please call 911 and consult with a licensed clinician about any clinical symptoms you are observing in your child.