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Frustration is the feeling of disappointment, dissatisfaction and anger that occurs when we are blocked from reaching a goal or solving a problem, in other words, when we fail at something. The angry feelings that accompany failure and frustration may be directed outwardly in the form of hostility or inwardly in the form of depression. In this module, students will see how the way we think and talk to ourselves when life doesn’t go as planned affects our ability to cope with failure and frustration.
In each vignette, the protagonist is presented with a potentially provocative person or situation that could result in our hero losing it Before doing anything, our leading character takes a moment to imagine what losing it might look like and how it could lead to doing something regrettable. Since Losing It always leads to doing something regrettable, our hero decides it’s better to be smart and “talk him/herself out of it by modeling the use of BeCool Self-Talk.
In the first vignette, Evan uses BeCool self-talk skills to cope with frustration. Instead of letting his anger and pessimistic thoughts get the best of him and losing it when life seems to conspire against him, Evan keeps his cool by challenging irrational and exaggerated thoughts that fill his head. Negative and self-rejecting thoughts often accompany feelings of frustration. In the second part of this module we see Evan overestimate his abilities and skill level and set himself up for failure when he challenges a pool player whose abilities are way over Evan’s head. The way he thinks about failure has a dramatic effect on his subsequent behavior. Students see how irrational self-talk leads to losing it, while BeCool techniques and realistic self-talk lead to the matter-of-fact acceptance of failure as an integral step toward high levels of achievement.
The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.
Dr. James Stanfield, Ed.D.