The Mental Game
If someone would have asked us a year ago whether YTeach would be up and running and helping hundreds of students connect to work together, you might have sensed some doubt and we could barely believe it ourselves. It only seemed fitting, that in a time of doubt and uncertainty, we might provide some insight as to the importance of taking charge of your own actions and believing in yourself. Whether it is in the classroom or in sports, self belief and confidence play a big role in your success. When you don't believe that you can do something, you become less determined and less persistent in your efforts to accomplish the task at hand. Remember that your emotions can often times play a bigger role than even your intellect. Our emotions can drive our actions. There will be times when you may try and talk yourself out of something, and when that happens, there are ways to stop those fears and work towards performing at your best. In the early 1950s, doctors and "experts" said that running a mile under 4 minutes was absolutely impossible. However, a runner named Roger Bannister believed that he could break this 4 minute mile barrier. Although everyone else believed what the "experts" said, in 1954, Bannister did beat that record. Even more interesting, he only held that record for 46 days. Once he did it, people began to believe they could too and did. It had nothing to do with whether it was physically possible, it was just a matter of believing it. Don't believe the naysayers or those who claim to be "experts", believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you too. Another way to improve confidence is to practice positive self-talk. Words can play a big role in how you feel. Stop using words that are self-limiting such as "Can't", "Never", or "Impossible". Make an effort so that if you catch yourself saying you can't do something, end the sentence with the word "yet". "I can't do that yet" means that although you have struggled up to now, it is still possible to do it in the future. A person might think that it would be impossible for a person under 6 feet tall to be able to dunk a basketball. However, it hadn't been done yet. Spudd Webb became the shortest NBA basketball player to win a Slam Dunk Contest at 5'7". Lastly, there is a Navy SEAL rule called the "40% rule" that states that whether you’re exercising, studying, or just trying to break a bad habit, there is a point where you believe you have reached your limit. However, you are only at 40%. You still have 60% left in you. You are capable of so much more than you realize. This is a reminder that there are two kinds of impossible. There are things that are impossible such as flying, or running faster than the speed of light and then there are things you think you can't do but if you push through it, you may surprise yourself. During a time when your mind can fill you with doubt and uncertainty, keep reminding yourself of all that you are capable of. Continue to persist and work towards your goals and nothing can stop you. For this week's #MakeItHappen, consider all your challenges and push yourself through the self-doubt. The next time you feel like giving up, remember you still have 60% left in you. Tell us how you got through it by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org share your story and tag us on social.
Go make it happen, Matias, Luly & the YTeach Team
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.”
- Serena Williams