China 2019 – Day 9, Friday, 26th July

So there comes a time in learning anything where you just get that feeling where you don’t feel like you’re quite getting it…and frustration sets in.

This quite often leads to a student leaving class and never coming back, which from an instructor’s perspective is never a good thing – and quite often, for those who stick it out – a frustrating time often immediately precedes a break through, which is why it is often a real shame when someone does give up.

An instructor’s frustration is more often than not linked to running a class or a school as a business and all of the pieces which must fall into place (or quite often be hammered into place) to make it successful. (Finding a location, marketing to find students, keeping students, motivating students…) – as a student, frustration can be linked with not remembering, not understanding – and sometimes feeling that they are not learning quickly enough (the latter is most likely false in my experience!).

So today I experienced frustration as a student for the first time in a while, when this morning for some reason I just could not find the link between what my eyes were seeing, what my brain was processing, and what my body was doing… it just wasn’t there and I really struggled with a new move from the form I am learning.

As usual, I kept on training after class, and after some time the move was feeling a little better but really not feeling very natural or polished. (…yet!)

So I consoled myself with an extra large lunch and a bit of last minute revision for my Mandarin class shortly after.

After the morning’s lack of muscle memory, I was not expecting much from the muscle in my head in class today and yet to my surprise an hour of intense revision of the last four days went fantastically…not saying I remembered everything, or that at times I wasn’t racking the dark inner recesses of my brain to think of a word, but I was pretty pleased at the end of a super quick hour (as was my – very patient – teacher).

After a nice/hot 30 minute bike ride and a stop off for a coffee, this afternoon’s class was underway in what was probably the hottest it has been here since my arrival. I was melting but had one of my favourite training sessions yet, including successfully remembering the new move from this morning in addition to relatively easily getting to grips with a new one!

So, what’s my real lesson from today? Everything passes, frustrations and difficulties eventually go away…could be that day, could be a week, could be a year or more…but nothing stays the same (especially if you are open and accepting of change).

I could have let my frustration get the better of me and taken it into my Mandarin class which can itself often be a frustrating place to be at times – but one day’s frustration is another day’s victory.

Funnily enough, I have noticed that often the moves I find trickiest to learn and remember and need the most correcting on, are turning out to be the ones which I eventually feel best doing.

So if things aren’t going right, if frustration is setting in, just let it come and go because it eventually will. We’re in perpetual motion and change is inevitable…just don’t give up 🙂

2 thoughts on “Day 9 – Dealing with Frustration

  1. For me it is a welcome thought that Frustration is not just for us students but as roles are now reversed you have joined ‘the club’.

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