Self Improvement: You are What You Think
This is the 4th part of the Self Improvement series.
Melissa, not her real name, is a student I could not forget. She was one of my students in Psychology when I was still teaching. I remember her as bubbly, yet distant. She doesn’t want to join some activities in school.
It has been my practice that at the start of the semester I would ask for the profile of my students particularly their intellectual and personality profile. Then later, from my students, I would gather their family background.
Melissa, with an above average IQ, almost nearing Genius caught my attention. So, I always keep an eye on her. As days passed by, prelim and midterm came to an end; I noticed Melissa is not doing well. I also observed that she is not that active in group works or group assignments.
When we finally reached the topic on Self Concept that I realized why she is not what she is supposed to be considering that she has a very high IQ. So I decided to make a session on Self concept and then self awareness. It was there that I learned, that as early as age 5, she can vividly recall how her parents and her siblings would call her “dumb” or “stupid” or “idiot.” When she asks questions regarding her assignment which she didn’t know, she would often receive bad words rather than being helped. She was labeled as a loser. Many times she was being told that she will never succeed in her life.
One mistake she makes, she will be scolded and verbally abused. She bursts out emotionally when she narrated her stories. For how many years that she heard those words, she had learned to live by it.
As a consequence, every time she encounters difficult problems at school or in anything, what really comes to her mind is that she can’t solve it because she is dumb. So, she got low scores in exams, eventually low grades. It took her five years to finish high school since she failed during second year.
After graduating from high school, her parents did not send her to school. Since she was determined to have a degree, she decided to work as a house helper and asked her employers that instead of paying her a monthly salary, she will be sent to a night school.
The session that she attended opened up something Melissa did not expect. I told her that her IQ is very high and with such, she should be an achiever. I told her she can graduate with honors if she will just use properly what is being endowed to her. During the session, I asked them to draw how they see themselves at present and five years in the future. Not only she has the intellectual skills, she has the talent in art.
It was that group session that opened up her world, and paved the way for greater things to happen in her life. Right now she is working abroad as an Accountant.
As of writing this, I had sought Melissa’s permission to share her story so that others may be inspired. That it is not what others think who you are that matters. It is what you think of who you can be and what you can do that counts.
You should know better yourself more than others. If ever you hear from other people that you are this and you are that, do not mind them. Rather, concentrate on your good qualities. Focus on what you can improve more.
I would like to ask you this question and answer it honestly as you can. List everything according to how you see yourself.
The question is, “Who Am I?”
Then the next question, “Who am I according to my Parents, Siblings, Friends, Co-employees, Teachers, etc.?”
You can use the attached file as your working material. Just fill up the space with your answers.
Feel free to send your work to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will treat all your answers with utmost confidentiality.
With this, we will try, with all means help you cope up bridge the gap between how you see yourself and with how others see you. Let us narrow down the gap, so that you will come to be in good terms with your own self.
It is sad to note that most of what we think of ourselves is far differently from who we really are in reality. That we can do more than what we believe we can.
If you really want to succeed or achieve greater things or feel good about yourself, stop listening to others. Stop believing how negative you are as others see you, remember, if you continue to listen and believe all those negative things about yourself, then you will become what you think you are.
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