I had an interesting conversation with my therapist today. It is funny, as a note to myself I suppose, that I really do feel like they are conversations now, rather than “sessions” as I thought of them before. Before? When I was so deep in depression that I didn’t really even see how deep I was.

I’ve felt consistently good for quite a while now, a few months. I feel stable with it, like this is my new baseline. I can’t express what a difference it has made.

But the conversation today was about confidence, about expectations of a sort, about why I feel like I have a “deficiency” if I need to take a class in something. This isn’t true for every subject, it isn’t true when I want to learn something that is far afield from what I already know.

“There have been a lot of studies in the news lately,” my therapist said, “that tell us what a disservice we’ve been doing by praising kids for being intelligent.”

She explained that praising intelligence sends a message to kids that they should get things right away. The secondary effect of this is that as soon as the task becomes challenging, those kids give up. Instead we should be praising them for their effort.

And oh my god, did that ever ring some bells! Still rings bells. This is me, now, and apparently what I have to get over.

You know when we’d always hear, “there’s no such thing as a stupid question?” I never believed that. Did you?

two kids