It’s all about the mindset
Following on from my previous blog about positive things we should implement into our lives within the new term, I thought I’d further discuss one of the points mentioned: mindset.
Recently I’ve started reading ‘The worry trick’ by David Carbonell. In this book, he discusses the fact that the worry itself isn’t usually the issue, but rather, the kind of “relationship” that we have with it. For example, if we continue to let the worry in and have a really negative reaction to it, then it gives the worry power! This resonated really strongly with me, and I’m sure it does with a lot of you guys, too. After all, the important thing isn’t the existence of the worry itself, because we cannot physically stop thoughts from entering our minds. Instead however, we can choose to take hold of the incoming thought and sit with it- maybe asking ‘will this worry do me any good?’.
The answer is likely to be no, because worries tend to be about things in the future, of which, as we all know, we have no control over. We all seem to know this, yet our mind tricks us into thinking we can predict what is going to happen, falsely telling us that our thought will become reality.
When relating this to university life, of which there are many things to worry about- the first thing that springs to my mind is grades. I have a terrible habit of worrying about the grade that I’ll get before even receiving feedback! This results in me dreading the feedback and telling myself that it won’t be good. These thoughts tend to be because we associate assignments and exams with negativity, meaning we normally predict a negative result.
We often blow our worries out of proportion. For example, before I’ve remembered a mistake I made in an assignment and have consequently thought that this will make my entire grade bad. This kind of thinking does you no good whatsoever, the more you worry has zero effect on your grade (something I’ve come to realise!). So, you can either spend the time waiting for results being consumed by worry, letting it interfere with your happiness and relationships, or rather, just deal with the outcome when you actually receive the grade.
I, for one, am making a pledge to myself that I will try and spend less time worrying over grades, and instead, worry about them if I need to, when the time comes and I actually have a physical grade in front of me.
We were talking, in a module yesterday, about how education often results in a constant need for comparison between students, as opposed to learning together and helping each other through the process. So, this is also a note to say that I hope you’ll be easy on yourself this year. Comparing grades (especially as tabula releases them all at once so the first thing you might want to do is ask the person sitting next to you) does no good. You can find yourself going from proud to thinking your work is unworthy, just because your friend did slightly better! To tackle this, when we receive feedback, instead of asking ‘what did you get?’ I now will instead ask, ‘are you happy with it?’. This way, there is no need for numerical comparison, and nobody needs to feel downhearted!!