Do you sometimes feel like the journey through school is unbearable?
The number of years necessary to finish school may impact commitment, and the ability to achieve Grade 12 successfully. The process becomes more challenging when you do not get proper support in terms of extra lessons, tutoring, career coaching, and better advice that prepares you for life after high school. For some, the journey may feel like walking in the dark, and they may lose interest in school activities, and education.
We cannot blame them; we are all surrounded by countless negative events and experiences. There are family members, relatives, and people in your communities who either fail to complete school or show meaningful progress after high school. Newly qualified graduates and youth keep struggling to secure employment.
In fact, as soon as you switch on the television, you are likely to watch something disturbing or negative. You come across negativity as you walk out of your home to the local shops, some of it follows you at school, and some right inside your classroom. You continue to see the negative impact of alcohol abuse, and other negative influences that threaten your commitment to schoolwork, almost every day. When we put ourselves in your shoes, we immediately feel saddened by the type of challenges you come across out there.
An important question is, how do you begin the process of overcoming challenges and become a winning learner and teenager?
It would be unrealistic to assume that all successful professionals, workers, entrepreneurs, and artisans have not faced similar challenges and setbacks? Indeed, they have, but they all had one thing in common, a Positive Mindset.
A Positive Mindset is a remedy for life challenges.
- Finishing school with the right subject scores and levels requires commitment, hard work, and strong life goals. A positive mindset is extremely important, it contributes towards successful completion of school, as well as obtaining better subject scores and levels. But what is a Positive Mindset?
- A positive mindset is a constant belief and expectation that things will work out. It is that constant knowing in your mind that you can and will achieve success, and other great things that you wish for yourself. People with a positive mindset understand that challenges are part of life, and that bad things happen. But they remain optimistic about life. They formulate strong personal goals and stick to the action. They do not just believe that things will work out, they are hard workers and true optimists.
- A negative mindset, on the other hand, will often justify why things will never work out. This mindset may lead to negative behaviour, and the inability to persist at school, and in life. Learners who suffer from negativity may simply attend school to tick a box, not because they are serious about their dreams.
- In this situation, there is a risk of negative behaviour that involves becoming a bad influence on other learners, bullying others, lack of respect for teachers and adults in the community, and a temptation to use drugs and alcohol.
“Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better”. Harvey Mackay
Are you a young person with a Positive or Negative mindset?
- When you understand your mindset, you manage to take control of thoughts and emotions. Taking control of your thoughts and emotions enables you to respond to the harsh environment. It is vital to check your mindset, but this requires proper self-examination and an honest answer.
- The truth is, you will know if you are generally hopeful and ever ready to face life challenges. You will also know if you are generally negative, complain all the time, and every ready to blame someone else for what is not working well in your life. What is best with self-examination is that you get to give yourself the most honest answer. When you do this exercise, make sure that you do not lie to yourself.
- Take a moment to think about your own mindset. Is it generally Positive or Negative? Do you normally have Positive or Negative thoughts? Whatever the answer you get, it is ok because you can always change or make some improvements. If you find that you generally have a positive mindset and optimistic about life and achieving your dreams, well done. Cherish and develop this attribute because it will help you to succeed.
- If you find that your thoughts are usually negative, you are not alone. As Jase Robertson says, “The first step to dealing with a problem is admitting that you have a problem”. When you accept that you have a challenge, then you are ready to fight back.
Would you like some tips on how to develop a Positive Mindset?
If you plan to develop a positive mindset, you must be prepared to work on yourself. The results are achievable over time and with practice, depending on how serious you are about bringing about a positive change in your life. The learning theory suggests that positive thinking can be learnt by practising a simple 4-step process.
Step 1: Constantly observe your thinking habits.
- Think about the type of thoughts that constantly occupies your mind.
- Acknowledge negative thoughts whenever they overcome your mind.
- You can even say to yourself, “this is negative thinking and I acknowledge it, best I try my best not to entertain it”.
- At that moment, try to push negative thoughts aside and start to focus on what is positive.
Step 2: Adopt a personal philosophy of happiness.
- Define your idea of happiness and things that bring you hope and joy.
- Some people find immediate happiness in being alive, having family members that support them, friends, etc.
- It may be something that you have achieved in life, passing the previous grades or a personal vision that you are working towards.
Step 3: Constantly train positive thoughts.
- Pay attention to the causes of negative thoughts.
- If you know the usual causes of negative thoughts, write them down.
- Next time a negative thought comes to mind, you will be ready to fight or replace it with a positive one.
- There is always something positive that you can use to fight off negative thoughts.
- When you do this, you do not give power to the causes of negative thoughts but to the causes of positive thoughts.
Step 4: Stabilise positive thinking.
- It is not easy to deal with negative thoughts.
- There are helpers that you can use to stabilise positive thinking.
- For example, you can play a favourite song, pray, meditate, watch a motivational video, talk to a close friend who makes you happy, or speak to a family member.
- You will soon realise that you can “think about your thinking” almost every other minute.
- Over time, when you practice this process, you will be able to fight negative thoughts unconsciously.
“I think anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in.” Roger Clemens
It’s ok to experience regular periods of negative thinking and emotions.
There are days when negative thoughts will overcome you. This will be followed by a feeling of anger, mixed emotions, hopelessness, and an unwanted desire to just quit. We cannot stay positive, motivated, happy, and focused every day. It is impossible. On some days, our heads get filled with lots of difficult questions to which there are not clear or positive answers. What often works is to acknowledge this feeling and prepare yourself to fight back. You cannot allow it to paralyse you because you probably have a test coming in few days and you need to get back to your game.
We hope that we have influenced you to start thinking about your mindset. From now on, you have some tips that can help you to become an optimistic, stronger, and happy learner and teenager. Give yourself time and be patient with yourself, and if the will to win is burning inside your heart, you can train your mind accordingly.
The learning theory. (2021, March 8). In Wikiversity. https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Happiness/Positive_thinking (CC BY-SA 3.0)