The other day, I was visiting with one of my students who feels discouraged because the student's father is disappointed by the perceived lack of progress the student is making. "You're not stupid, right? Get to work. You're just not working hard enough."
The pain in the student's expression was emotionally raw and distressing. I simply sat and listened, validating the student's discouragement.
In such situations, I often ask myself how we develop the courage to keep going when people seem to be telling us, "YOU'RE NOT ENOUGH!" "YOU'RE BROKEN!"
One of my favorite writers and researchers on shame, vulnerability, and self-worth is Brené Brown. She said the following:
“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”
– Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness
When I feel low, I just keep reminding me that myself worth is never determined by the judgement of the people sitting in the stands. I try to help students find the courage to do the same.
Any thoughts on this topic? How have you be able to press through difficult times?
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