I can’t believe my last post was at New Year and yikes, we’re hurtling toward Solstice! I’m so excited that the proof copies of my books have arrived. And did you see the newsletter sign-up pop up? I’m excited that I’ll have a way to tell people when the books go live if they subscribe. I’m trying to practice focussing on what I’ve done as well as the still to do.
Proofreading is slowly progressing. I’m struggling with a mountain of tasks to complete before I can press publish. And then there’s been some big ups and downs of life to navigate, unrelated to the LifeSPARKS Land of Learning.
At the moment I’m feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with myself. It’s easy to flip on the self-doubt, self-criticism, and shame cycle switch. And so not helpful.
Self-Doubt and Frustration Can Derail Learning
My first encounter with a child or parent often comes when they experience frustration and struggle. They may express fear about the future. They worry about their child’s future as a learner and the domino effect that could have on their life.
There is often pain in feeling beaten down, disillusioned, and unsupported. They’ve often embraced a message that who they are is not good enough.
Sometimes this happens when:
- a child begins to struggle with reading
- an upper elementary child struggles with fractions.
- with children who think or perceive the world differently
- a child is not challenged or engaged by the curriculum that seems to be working for the rest of the class.
- a teen can’t find where they fit, intellectually or socially
- in a family dealing with a new diagnosis
- life transitions for adults or kids
- young adults begin to spread their wings and feel parents, teachers, or society want to clip them.
No one wants the light in the eyes to dim, for sparks of joy and creativity disappear, and feel the love of learning die. It’s even worse when we see this happen to our kids.
So, how can you deal? Especially if the self-doubt, self-criticism, and shame cycle switch is stuck on?
Pause and breathe. Acknowledge all of your feels. Doesn’t help to pretend all is well when it’s not. But, work on embracing all of who you are, and who your kid’s are. As is. Strengths, likes, talents, quirks and all.
Remember, you are smart in ways that are uniquely you AND you can learn.
Embrace Who You Are
Here, I’ll go first.
I know I’m a total cornball, a teary-eyed, grateful tree hugger and nature -over. A seussian poet. An over the top enthusiastic idea generator and sharer. A personal cheerleader. A figure outer. The opposite of a word-smith. A wannabee Supreme. A strumming-impaired ukulele player A wonderer. A wanderer. A worrier. A big-picture thinker and a small-step doer. A forgetter. Disorganized. Messy. Easily distracted. I keep working on accepting that I’m an imperfect human who can learn. It helps me reset my self-compassion when I take a break with Dr. Uke and try to play The Glory of Love.
What and who are you?
Write it, dance it, draw it. Give yourself some space to acknowledge and appreciate who you are.
I don’t know the specifics but I know you are wonderfully, beautifully, uniquely you, just as you are. Your job in life is to learn to be authentically YOU – to find JOY (just one you) in your journey. You get to draw your own big picture for your life and plan your own small steps for your journey.
Don’t worry about anyone else’s journey. They get to dream and do their own. Which will probably be different than yours — and that’s okay. We all have our own path with it’s own timeline. Comparing and competing will not serve you – they will only steal your joy.
On your journey, you need to understand yourself, how you are smart, how you learn best and work with that. Find tools and strategies to help yourself learn best. Figure out what you want to do, why you want to do it, and make a plan for how to do what you want.
Choose to be responsible for your learning and life.
Celebrate being the designated driver for your learning, heck for your life.
You can choose to operate from an internal sense of I can’t, or choose to embody a place of power – I can. I will. Step away from limiting beliefs or stories about what you can’t do. This might be the hardest step depending on your experiences.
Learning, remembering, embracing that you have choice gives you power. There are plenty of situations and systems that won’t off you choice or power. But you have choice in how you respond and react in any given moment. That’s your power that no one can take away.
And you can learn to harness the power of learning and choice. To help you discover more choices. To use it to help you learn, grow, and make the changes you want to see in your life.
Will there be problems, challenges, pitfalls? Unexpected issues that crop up? Life is full of surprises, pleasant and unpleasant even when we know what we want to do. So, choose to love yourself and love learning anyway. Put love in action by taking small daily steps to create the life you want.
The system that helps me to keep choosing love and learning is a continuous cycle of reflection and action. Ask hard questions, try new things, do what matters.
Again and again. Even when my heart is pounding or I’m overwhelmed and want to escape. To pause, stretch, and take a breath, and ask what’s my next small step? What do I need to help me take it.
Easy? No, sigh.
But guess what?
I can do hard things and so can you.
Be brave, love learning, be you.
Ask, try, do.
PS – How are you? What are you up to? What are you learning?