Working with low frustration-tolerance

In a post on Facebook this morn, I mentioned that when I was younger I used to just quit a lot of stuff as soon as I hit any obstacle. (The post was about feeling frustrated with myself for not being able to figure out a public library app that I was trying to use in order to participate in our public library’s online book club).

Not long ago I learned there is a name for that aspect of my personality or consciousness. It’s called “low frustration-tolerance.” Kids at a very young age ideally are able to work through this and don’t become an adult who is like this.

However, I am mentioning this in case it might help other people who are in a similar boat.

Even if, like me, you get to adulthood and you’re still struggling with this, it’s possible to reprogram one’s mind and at least sometimes or even most of the time become more willing to sit with frustration and not bail out at the first sign of not understanding something.

I have ended up persisting and fixing or finding solutions to a lot of things that when I was younger I would just have quit or given up.

Many books & other resources have helped me regarding this. One book that helped me immensely is Grit, by Angela Duckworth. Her TED talk (which you can see on her website linked above) is excellent as well.

A blogger whose writings I always find very helpful is David at Raptitude. He writes a lot about navigating discouragement and procrastination. Also, he teaches courses; you can find the info on his website.

Sometimes it’s enough just to know that other people are navigating the same things and are succeeding.

Exercises I have found very very helpful are the Will exercises and Attention exercises of the Avatar Course materials. The exercises in many cases only take a couple of minutes or even a few seconds, so they are very helpful in extricating myself from stuck patterns such as self-berating.