1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How do I get over learned helplessness?

Discussion in 'I Need Some Practical Advice' started by JCC988, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. JCC988

    JCC988 Well-Known Member

    I was trying to get classes that I need for a potential future job today, yet I was so discouraged that I completely gave up on looking for a compatible schedule for this semester. My mother actually intervened and looked for one despite me saying no. She managed to find something for me.

    I'm noticing this more. I'm capable of doing something but choose not to even when I CLEARLY can do it. I'm reminded of basic psychology of learned helplessness. Shock an animal enough times and it won't even try to escape the cage even when it can CLEARLY escape.

    So how do I get myself away from learned helplessness?
  2. may71

    may71 Well-Known Member

    I don't know enough about learned helplessness to say. If you're sure that what you are experiencing is learned helplessness, you could try looking it up on line

    My guess is that a treatment method like CBT migth be the best approach. It seems to emphasize techniques for countering negative self talk, which sounds like something similar
  3. That's an interesting analogy, one I can relate to. It seems as though a lack of energy and motivation is part of the problem. The "cure" I know of, honestly, is to simply act, to do something. It doesn't have to be anything extreme. You can take a small step, slowly making your way toward the door of the cage. You won't escape right away, but you'll be closer to doing so with each step you take, no matter how small.
  4. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    @JCC988 - learned helplessness is hard to break, isn't it? I think we break it by trying different things until we succeed and then we take very good note of that success and how we managed it.

    If we've had a lot of mishaps/mistakes/failures along the way before, new things can feel overwhelming. I try to accomplish things through series of smaller steps. Gather my calendar/daybook, get reports/forms together, and set aside a specific time to make calls or look online for things or finish a project. If I'm speaking with people, and they don't know the answers to questions I have, I've learned it's okay to ask them politely, "OK...I'm sorry you can't help me. Could you please give me the name and number of someone who can?" Taking a break if I'm getting really frustrated and/or discouraged is important. I don't think my clearest when I'm frustrated. Better to walk for 10 mins or get a glass of water and come back fresh.

    It's hard advice...Just keep going and trying different things until you succeed. Eventually, we DO make progress. Which is good because it counts as a success to build on and each success makes learned helplessness less of a habitual response.

    I hope this helps. I know it's hard sometimes, but I bet you will do just fine. :)
    Innocent Forever likes this.