Inner Critic: “I’m not good at it; that’s why I can’t do it.”
Identify and Revise:
This past semester, Physics 1220 has been the bane of my existence. I, unlike many of my friends and peers, was never presented the opportunity to take a physics class in high school because we did not have one. Because of this, I came into college level physics blind. The content was (and still sort of is) all material I have never seen before and have no understanding of. I was consistently confused after working out a problem and getting the wrong answer when everyone around me got the right answer. It sometimes got to the point where I got so frustrated with the concept that I told myself that I just could not solve the problem because I’m not good at it after attempt after attempt and coming up short every time. | After reflecting upon my predicament, I had come to the realization that me failing over and over when learning something new should be more than enough motivation for me to keep on pushing and persevering until I eventually master the material. Practice is key, so I now know that if I keep practicing, the right answers will eventually come.
Inner Defender: “I would’ve made an A if my professor could speak English!”
Identify and Revise:
If I had to rank how often I encounter the three inner voices, this one would probably be ranked last. The inner defender is defined as one that judges others, then blames them before self-assessment takes place. Once blaming an external takes place, complaining about the external and demeaning the external replaces problem-solving and escape occurs. I know when I am in the wrong, and I am not afraid to admit that I am in the wrong. My mentality is that there is no need to go out and blame others for my shortcomings. If I was to have this mindset in the context of the non-English speaking professor, though, in an effort to channel my inner guide, I would remind myself that many students who have come to college before me have met the challenge of understanding foreign teachers and have gone on to succeed in their classes. I should take the time to go to office hours and express my concerns with the professor’s speaking abilities, and if that does not work out, I would make sure that I am in contact with a PAL leader, tutor, or anyone else who speaks English and could help me master the material.
Inner Guide: “I did this, so now I need to correct it.”
Identify and Reflect:
I remember this one time back towards the beginning of the second semester. We had just returned to school and I retaking a class I wasn’t doing so well in the previous semester. I had been through the work multiple times and I knew what to expect from the assignments and exams, so I sat down and realized where my weak points were the previous semester, and made certain to address those issues as I went through the class again. I realized that doing my homework after I finished with class produced better work that it did when I did the work at some odd hour of the night. Just being able to sit down and say “This is what I did wrong last semester in this class, this is how I’m going to fix it.” was a reward in itself, but going on and actually applying and practicing this same mentality to work from my other classes made me a better student this semester.
Part 2: Looking Back...
My inner guide voice really is the one I hear the most in my day to day life. I’ve never been one to self-demean or self-attack myself in my head. Quite frankly, that kind of mentality sounds really unhealthy in my opinion. I like to think that I am always conscious of reality and I try to keep in mind when setting goals to be realistic with them. Usually when anything goes wrong in my life, I am the cause of it. Once again, I am not afraid to admit to this. Usually the reasoning behind why something did not go as planned is because something I did - or the lack thereof - prevented so. This pattern of things going wrong is getting tired and it needs to change. Now that I am confident in knowing that my inner guide voice is what I need to look forward to hearing whenever discouraged, I'm setting myself up to become a better me. So the next time I fail a test, instead of feeling the initial guilt and sadness of failure, I will take the time to reevaluate the material, figure out what went wrong and where, then take the time to make sure it does not go wrong again. The next time something in my personal life goes wrong, I will know not to dwell on it, but to grow and prosper from it. I have never been one to take things personally. This is a harsh world we live in and I came to realize a long, long time ago that everything cannot and will not go the way you might want or expect them to. Overall, from now on, everything will be a learning experience that will help me to be the best me I can be!