If you’re like me you can be hard on yourself and not always have the most optimistic or healthy outlook. I hate this about myself- there we go another negative. I wonder why I have the tendency to focus on the negatives rather than the positives.
For example, I recently cleaned my bathroom mirror and instead of looking at all the fresh clear reflections I stared at the one tiny spot I missed. I was upset with myself for not being more thorough and missing it. Then I thought why am I not proud of myself for making the effort and making 99% of the mirror sparkling clean?
At work, sometimes I think I judge my entire performance on my mistakes or oversights rather than the successes or new helpful ideas. Late one night I realized I had forgotten to prepare for a meeting I had the next day. I felt upset with myself for the next few days. Why couldn’t I have been more kind to myself and focused on all of the meetings I have prepared for in a timely manner?
It is so easy to negatively judge yourself by one silly little error or oversight instead of celebrating your hard work. So now when I think of a negative or something I want but don’t have I make myself stop and think of 3 positives in my life.
Part two of this post is for you to use this thought process at school with your students. Of course when children get in trouble and break school rules parents are informed. However, we need to make even more of an effort to inform parents when children follow the rules or go above and beyond expectations.
We need to show ourselves love and compassion but also everyone around us. Sometimes this might be easier said than done. It’s easier for me to be compassionate to myself when I miss a spot on the mirror, but it might be harder when I realize I forgot to prepare for an important meeting. Just like it might be easier to recognize the good behavior of your kind student who is always on the honor roll versus the student who is always going to the office for bad behavior.
Just like we want ourselves to focus more on the positives in us and our life the students we work with and their parents want that too. If you can try to send more positive notes home and make more happy phone calls home, it can lead to a more positive day for you, your students, and your families.
You might have to be more creative with finding the positives on some days and with some children, but if you look hard enough it will be there. Personally, even on the worst day, you can find something positive about yourself and your life.
Changing thought patterns takes time and practice. So be gentle with yourself when you are being negative and change it to a positive as quickly as you can without beating yourself up for being negative!
I’ll start right now. Normally, I procrastinate on writing my posts, but today I am writing this at the beginning of the month instead of the end of the month. I am proud of myself for being more positive and proactive in my life! Now I think I’ll go tackle that smudge on the mirror!