In the life of a high school student, these are perhaps the most stressful weeks of the entire school year. Cumulative finals and state wide exams can raise the anxiety rate of students from every walk of life, but sometimes we make it worse by the messages we send ourselves.
How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m going to fail this exam” or “I can’t do this”? Perhaps they mean that figuratively and not literally, but how can this kind of language be helpful and productive when, frankly, you don’t have a lot of extraneous time for unproductive thoughts.
Perhaps this kind of negative-self talk can set our expectations so that when we do succeed (as is most often the case), we enjoy the sensation of being relieved and pleasantly surprised. The opposite would be to assume we will succeed and risk the exceedingly unpleasant sensation of disappointment. While there may be some merit to this argument, it is not particularly efficient at a time of year when efficiency is key to success and self preservation. How much energy does it take to worry and stress, even subliminally, when you continue to remind yourself of your impending academic demise?
Instead, by outlawing a few simple words from your vocabulary, you can change your entire perspective and potential for success. While your parents have probably told you cursing or swearing is not permitted in your home, I suggest, at least for the next few weeks, you outlaw certain other four letter words.
No more shall you utter the nasty words, “can’t” or “fail”. You CAN do this. You won’t FAIL. So, stop wasting the time and incredible amounts of negative energy that go into these kind of messages. Instead, state facts (This is hard or I’m tired), but stop prematurely passing judgment on yourself. In no way is this helpful.
If, in fact, the 1957 song, Life is a Ball Game, is true, then picture yourself sitting on the bench in the dugout. Your friend and teammate is up to bat with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The outcome of the game is riding on this at-bat. What will you choose to shout?