(• Reading Time: 3 minutes •)

What do you do when you get frustrated while learning to code?

  1. Shut down in anger.
  2. Take a break and come back.
  3. Keep banging your head on the wall nonstop.


If you're honest

And you're like most, it's likely 1.

What about 3? Maybe you think people who go with 3 are not smart. Okay, what if you take on 3 with full force until it works?


If I asked you, what you think is the most appropriate response when frustrated, you'd likely say (2). But let me propose something slightly different.

It's a mixture of all 3.


It's fine to shut down

You're human.

But make sure your shutdown is temporary so you get back to your work.

It's okay to take a break. But sometimes, a break can turn into a long distraction, which then becomes

“I don't feel like going back to this again”

And banging your head – sometimes banging your head on the wall a little longer is what you need.

It's best to do this a little before taking a break.


Focused vs. diffused modes

Research in Neuroscience explains this as the ”focused” phase followed by a ”diffused” phase. You focus intensely (head banging moment), which in turn leads to frustration. Maybe anger.

Then you step away.

So it's not just taking a break.

It's a mix of all to level yourself up to mastery.


The next time you feel frustrated

Remind yourself that you're actually in the process of mastery.

  1. Acknowlege your frustration.
  2. Push yourself some more.
  3. Then take a break.

Practice this long enough and you'll see drastic changes.


Thanks for reading

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Heads Up - I love research so I tend to back my advice and approach with concepts from Behavioral Psychology and Neuroscience.