How to overcome being complete frozen?

Hi!

I’m new to learning code, I just started about a month ago a career path to become a Full Stack Dev. I went through HTML and some CSS, which I still struggle with and the games they recommend I don’t even understand them and they are supposed to help you.

I’m learning JavaScript and just the basics have taken me more than 3 weeks. I go through the lessons and they sorta make sense but at the moment to do the challanges I read the instructions and none of it makes sense, I just don’t know where to start and freeze out completely.

I’m afraid this isn’t for me. I’m crying everyday because I can’t resolve the challenges nor even start to think about a solution. I don’t want to give up but I’m in my thirties trying to get a better job and overall life but I don’t feel smart enough. I’m trying to study 5-6 hours a days because I quit my job to dedicate my full time to this and finish my career path in 6 months but I feel overwhelmed and sometimes I just stare at the screen for hours not knowing what to do and I feel like guilty that I did not accomplish much during the day and I’m wasting my time.

Is it possible to overcome these feelings? I’m thinking about getting a job again and just dedicate a couple of hours a day and take maybe a year to complete this or should I stick to my original plan.

Please any reassurance or advice would be appreciated. Also be honest if you think I’m not cut for this please say so because I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

Thank you again and I’m sorry for the long post and if this is something that has been already asked and answered.

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Personally I would say the biggest issue is you making yourself feel guilty and that you’re wasting your time. Not everything comes super fast, some people it takes longer. I’m on the same journey as you and I’m enjoying it and taking my time. You’re bold enough to try something new and that’s something to be proud of!

I find something that helps is to also to some coding challenges on codewars or leetcode. You might not be able to solve them yourself but knowing where to look, and then seeing code again and again helps build the skills up.

Unsure how you go about with trying to solve problems but maybe try and re-write the question into your own words first. Just pick it apart bit by bit. Whats the first thing that needs to be done? How would you achieve this? Could be multiple ways. Search online also for some ideas. Then the next step.

Be flexible with what you feel is right. To have inflexible goals leaves much more pressure on you and then that just adds to your frustrating, your worry, and then not being able to focus. It’s a vicious circle. Anything new, you need to be in a good headspace to properly learn material.

It’s all a journey and sometimes it won’t be easy, don’t give up and believe in yourself, you can do it!

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Thank you so much for your kind words… it’s very hard to not preasure yourself when you feel like there is so much at stake.

“try and re-write the question into your own words first. Just pick it apart bit by bit. Whats the first thing that needs to be done? How would you achieve this? Could be multiple ways. Search online also for some ideas. Then the next step.”

This is something that I want to implement, I appreciate the advice… and I will give it try.

Thank you again.

100% I think everyone struggles with it and it’s not an easy thing to overcome but to put more pressure on yourself makes everything harder! Focus on the great and incredible things you are doing instead of the negatives.

Just seeing more code will always get you more familiar with it. When you do search stuff, make sure you try and understand it also. Go through a which ever debugger you have are using for JS and see what values go where.

ChatGPT or other AI can also help explain stuff to you. Can always try and lean on that for answers also.

Best of luck and stay positive.

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Hi @MarissaKundera welcome to the freeCodeCamp forum!

I’m sorry you are feeling this way, but don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s perfectly normal to feel frustrated when things don’t work the way we want, but let me offer some advice to you.

  1. Software Development/coding is hard and it takes time. A few weeks of learning often aren’t enough for things to start making sense. I’m not saying this to discourage you, rather I want you give a more realistic view of things.

  2. Usually this “phase” can last for quite few months for some people (it took me like 6-7 months). Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by our expectations, but I encourage you to persist for a little longer.

  3. Different people have different learning styles, maybe the way projects are design here are not the best for your, personally (this is actually my case). FreeCodeCamp have a “learn by doing it” style. Try searching for youtube tutorials, maybe with people who explain the concepts to you and kind of walk you throughout the project.

  4. You’ve mentioned about getting a better career and a better life. First of all, let me congratulate you on you decision and for your courage to seek a better life. I’m on a very similar path. I’m 29 and I had a HARD time learning basic JavaScript at the beginning, today I can work with Angular (a framework) at an intermediate level. So things can work out for you.

  5. Another point is, this is a field that takes time. It’s not uncommon to find people who study for 1~2 years before getting a job at it. I would suggest you to not rely solely on getting a job on software development so soon. Maybe having a job or part time job will help you financially and mentally too, so you don’t get carried away by your own mind and/or feelings.

  6. Don’t be afraid to make decisions and mistakes. Sometimes mistakes happen, they are part of life. Tech is a very broad field, so try to expose yourself to other areas too, hardware, AI, IT support… I’m not saying to go deep on them, but at least be aware that not everything is coding

  7. Finally, you are the one in charge of your life. Ultimately you are the one that have to choose. Other people can share their experience and their opinion, but the one who knows what is best for you is yourself, so take everything said here with a grain of salt. Take this as a blessing, no one knows your situation better than you (I’m a Christian, so I would put God here too), so you are the main protagonist of your life!

Sorry for the giant wall of text. Feel free to comment on anything I said here. God bless you!

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Thank you so much for the advice. I appreciate that you have taken the time to provide me with suggestions and reassurance.

I’m looking for a part time job and decreasing the amount of hours I’m studying because I’m exhausted and frustrated and I might benefit from dedicating less time but with a better attitude.

I guess I just put too much expectations on myself.

Thank you for sharing your experience with me and knowing that someone is going through the same journey as I am gives me hopes because you do sound very wise and has given me a good insight.

I actually became interested in DA as well so I might give that a try to0… I’m going to take the preasure of myself and get a partime job so I can dedicate my mind into other things so I distract myself and maybe I will feel like coding it’s for my free time.

Thank you for everything.

I think it’s a great idea! I struggle really hard with depression personally, and sometimes I can get completely overwhelmed by negative feelings. Having a job or other activities may help you with your frustration as well! Besides, earning money is always a good xD

Take pleasure on learning, not only about tech/coding but also about life and human beings too, including yourself.

Sometimes our minds can be more like enemy than a friend, so be aware of thoughts and don’t be afraid to seek help from a family member, friends or other people!

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:slight_smile: f course it is possible to overcome those feelings, also this is part of the journey! What has helped me or still helps is getting an accountability partner of the same level to share that journey. I found one on Codum! Might be helpful for you too::slight_smile:

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You shouldn’t try to brute-force your way into learning. It’s something that takes time. It’s much better to take shorter daily sessions rather than trying to cram all at once. I used to have math anxiety and couldn’t do even basic algebra. I overcame this fear by taking a few minutes each day to learn basic math concepts… And eventually it took me down the techie path. :slight_smile:
I wouldn’t advise to quit your job to self-study full time. Wouldn’t it be better to combine FCC with a degree? In my country there are two year professional degrees (kind of like the equivalent to Associate Degrees in the US) that teach the basics of programming, provide the chance to join a mandatory internship and let you, so to speak, get your feet wet.

While I do believe that there has been the case of people managing to become “job-ready” on their own, in the current job market I wouldn’t take such a risk. This could help with your concerns, as you’d be working towards a diploma that you can use to validate your new skillset.

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Hi!

I’m new here too, I am a 42 yr old single mom of a teenager. And I am starting over after losing everything. I just started a couple weeks ago myself.

I froze up the first week myself. I have a high school diploma and I took Computer Programming 1&2 in the late 90s. So I started with a basic understanding and I still froze up. It is overwhelming starting over and not knowing if you are doing the right thing. This is like learning a new language. So give yourself a break.

What helped me was starting small. Not doing it for a long time at first. I started out with a goal of one hour and to just get through one step in that hour. Sometimes I got stuck for longer. And I felt so dumb for being stuck that long. And I would take notes and try and memorize the terminology and definitions. That really helped too.

Oh and I put on classical music because music with people singing was distracting me and that helped too.

I am just now bumping my time up and doing it every day instead of every two to three days and I feel like that gradual increase is helping me. As I’m gaining confidence with the language I am naturally spending more time wanting to do it. It started out with me dreading getting on the laptop due to fear of failure to looking forward to it out of curiosity. There’s excitement there now.

Give yourself time and breaks when you get frustrated.

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Thank you so much for sharing your experience, the shorter lessons seem to help with my overall anxiety… I’m still struggling and waiting for the Eureka moment everyone talks about but hopefully I will stop feeling overwhelmed soon.

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I will try to find a study body but I sorta feel embarrassed to share my learning journey with someone which I know is irrational but letting someone see that I struggle with basic concepts it’s something very hard for me but it’s something that I should work on.

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I have few suggestions

  1. Join some bootcamp and start learning with others

  2. Which country do you belong to ?

  3. I’ve made the BIG mistake and see everyone is doing the same which is not building projects during learning phase

Learn HTML and CSS → Build projects
Repeat above steps for JS and React

Refer to frontend mentor website for projects building

  1. Never learn alone, find study + accountability buddies.

  2. Why do you want to be Full Stack Dev instead of starting as Front End Dev and later move on to full stack ?

Let me know if you’ve further queries.

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As someone who started this journey nearly 10 years ago and helped run a code meetup for 5 years, what you’re feeling is completely justified. Learning a new skill is hard, much less retraining for a new career on a deadline. Reaching out for help is hard too, I don’t know where I would have been without the people I met on the way. I have so many thoughts on this, I’ll try to keep to the most important, but feel free to ask whatever you need too if anything comes to mind

Do your best to positively reinforce every step forward to build positive momentum. Try to add in projects you’re excited about, if possible, things that intersect your hobbies and passions. Once you have work you’re proud of, sharing it can really help, not just to get feedback, but to help build that momentum.

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I really just think the hardest part is fighting with ourselves mentally. I’ve been trying to get myself to code for about a year now and I barely started coding consistently a couple months ago. I make sure I at least do even a few minutes a day.

I’m 26 and married with 2 kids. I hate my job that I’ve been at for 7 years now but I know I need to stay there to support my family. But with coding I’m always fighting the thoughts in my head saying that I can’t do it. That I’m just supposed to stay at this job I hate forever, even though it makes me feel so miserable.

I only have a High School Diploma and did a few college courses that I didn’t finish, I’ve never felt smart at all. But I have been thinking about quitting my job next year when my wife starts working full time once she gets her Bachelors in finance this coming August. Then I’ll be able to focus all of my time strictly on coding. But I already have bad thoughts in my head about this not being a great idea. Thoughts of “not being a real man” just because I won’t be working and my wife will be. I don’t want it all to be for nothing if I do end up quitting. I know I got to just stick to the plan though, it’ll happen but only if I let it.

So I think it’s very important to do your best to stick to the plan. But plans always change, and that’s okay too. As long as you have an idea of what you want to do I think everything will be alright! Consistency is key, even a little bit every day. Anything can happen!