Category: Life Skills

Being Patient With Yourself When Learning

As I’ve talked about in other posts, I’ve learned a lot lately about conflict resolution skills. I’ve made a commitment to myself to use them from now on when I’m dealing with conflicts, but I’ve slipped up a few times along the way. I was telling my therapist how much I regret that.

She said something that helped me forgive myself and move forward: “Do you expect a kindergartner to be able to write a 12th grade paper?” Now I see myself as a student working to master a subject. I realize now that it’s okay to need some practice at a skill before mastering it. If you’re trying to learn to get better at something, keep in mind what my therapist said about the kindergartner. Since you’d be understanding of the kindergartner, extend the same understanding to yourself.

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Don’t Lose Sight of Your Short Term Goals

When I talked to my therapist last, I told her that I’m worried about the logistics of going back to school after my mental health improves to that point. She pointed out that that’s way in the future and I should focus more on my shorter term goals, such as finding a place and going through a program that helps people with psychiatric disabilities get ready for college. I learned that worrying about the future takes up energy that would be better spent on things closer to the present. It’s not that long term goals aren’t important, but shorter term ones are more urgent. Also, short term goals serve as stepping stones to the long term ones. It’s important to consider them all together in the big picture.