Take any one belief of yours that has ruled your life, and examine it from the following aspects.
1 Is it true?
2 Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3 How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4 Who would you be without that thought?
This is a response from my own experience and in doing so an attempt at answering the above questions.
I think our beliefs are things that we acquire as we age. When I was a child I dreamed of being a test cricketer, of diving fast cars and becoming a priest.
With age comes maturity and at a certain age, for me in my later teenage years I faced questions about what I was and where I was going.
It comes as a shock to discover you are not going to be the great sportsman you thought you might be.
I was competent and that was all. My mother had insisted we all learn to play tennis because she saw it as a great social game, we could go anywhere and as long as we could hit a ball back we would be accepted.
In the end and by the time I had left school I knew the important thing for me was to be me. It was important for me to sit comfortably in my own skin.
So in becoming a teacher I found a place in the world where I could be me.
I enjoyed the relationships I had with my students. I always found it important to treat them as human beings and to recognise that many of them were far smarted than me.
I had always enjoyed a creative side to my character and teaching allowed me to exercise that with my students.
Drama I discovered was a wonderful teaching tool. It taught students so much about themselves; it helped raise their sense of self-esteem and taught them the value of initiative.
So much of my teaching career was spent in the pursuit of things dramatic.
For me being a dreamer and living so much of my life in what I considered a fantasy world it was perfect for me. As a writer I wrote heaps of material for my students, I spend hours with them perfecting their writing and helping to give them a perspective on performance.
Being me was important and when it reached out and touched the lives of my students and I knew that for that moment I was on a winner in terms of a student getting what we were trying to do.
As teachers we don’t always get it right and we cop our share of criticism when things go wrong. But on the days when it goes right and you and your student know you have done well then those are the days it all makes sense and is worthwhile.
It’s also about knowing when things aren’t working and that you need to stop, rethink and often abandon the idea and start afresh. For me that was important, if it wasn’t working then stop and start again. I did that a lot too.
If I didn’t believe in who I was then I’d have spent my life as a wannabe. Never satisfied and always trying to be who I wasn’t and trying to impress on others some aspect of me that I didn’t believe in but that I hoped was what they were looking for. I think it’s an aspect of me that has troubled many of the women who have come into my life. Many wanted to change me. They argued I could be better without ever stopping to see that who I was, was who I was.
You have to like yourself and in doing so you take all your imperfections into account and understand they are as much a part of you as all the things that can be seen as positives.
As my best friend has said to me so often: “This is who I am, take it or d (decline)”.