What would your reaction be if I told you overcoming any sort of challenges or adversity is simple? It may not be easy, but it is simple. At least it is simple once the appropriate processes, strategies, and systems have been implemented.
Sometimes, it requires a bit of ingenuity or an unorthodox method to solve the issue, but it is simple once the correct approach has been found. And if a 12-year-old can do it, then surely there can be nothing stopping you?
As I’m sure you know, it’s been crunch time for many students the past few weeks and my 12-year-old son has just recently completed his science exam. Now before I tell you how he did, let me explain a little bit about what his mindset was before going into that exam hall.
He wasn’t feeling too confident about this one specifically and he kept thinking that he was going to fail. So, I sat him down in front of a computer and made him answer questions from past papers until he started getting consistent results. Now at first, he was only getting 5/10s or 6/10s which did initially dishearten him. But when we looked at the results together I encouragingly said, “Okay, now do it again.” followed shortly afterward by, “Okay now do it again” And he kept going at it until he started getting 9/10s or 10/10s consistently.
Once this realisation that he could do well happened, he started to become more and more positive about the exam. As a result, guess what? He actually achieved a score of 90% on the day because he felt more confident about recollecting the answers in his head from all that revision.
At the end of the day, all he needed to do was to develop a system for remembering the answers or strategies for working out the answers and be able to recall back to them during the assessment. It’s not easy, at least not at first. But it is simple once the appropriate processes, strategies, and systems have been implemented…
Now there are some important things to consider here. Clearly, if you tell yourself enough times that you will fail then guess what? As sure as eggs are eggs, you will fail. On the flip side, if you tell yourself enough times you will succeed then guess what? Of course you will succeed.
So remembering that after my son improved his mindset he consistently achieved 9/10s and 10/10s in the practice and 90% when it came to the actual exam. Let’s now consider the annual school sports day which is another types of tests pupils experience at this time of year.
So the day was upon us and for the entire year 7 too. My son took part in a competition to join the athletics team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t much of a competition for him as he didn’t realise that he was competing to be on the athletics team. So he just spent the majority of the time messing about and chatting to his friends. As a result, he didn’t make the team and ended up on the reserves doing the 800 meters.
Now during a chat with my son after his defeat I explained from using my knowledge as a former Army PTI there are two strategies to winning the 800 meters. The first is to stay with the front group of runners and make your move in the last 200 meters to sprint over the line taking your opponents by surprise. The second strategy being to lead from the front all the way and leave the opposition behind. Now obviously the second option is much harder because you cannot see what your opponents are doing and they may be using strategy one and deliberately staying on your shoulder until the last minute.
So when you put it in the context of the two strategies option one is probably psychologically easier. But I told him as long as he could keep the other runners in check behind him, he could easily win using option two.
Another thing we practiced together was running the race in his head repeatedly until he got the result he wanted. Now I haven’t got time in this blog to explain the process in full. So please get in contact if you wish to learn more about how you can use this process for you or someone you know.
So the day of the race arrived and I packed him of to school. When he came home that evening he just walked in as normal and grabbed a drink saying nothing of the race result. So I asked him expectantly, “so son. How did you do today?” Well dad my lessons were great and I really enjoyed myself.” Knowing he was being mischievous I delved deeper, “I’m really pleased your lessons went well. I’m referring to the 800 metre race you ran. How was that?” After an initial silence, “Oh that. Yes it went well thanks. I came first by quite some margin” a smile beaming across his face offering me a high five.
Following this awesome achievement, the schools sports award ceremony evening was also taking place the same week. However, he was not there as the winner of the 800 metre race. The award he received was for the best fencer of the year upon which he did not seem at all too thrilled about. In fact it was clear he felt embarrassed about receiving just a small certificate when others award winners received a trophy.
The following day I asked to see the certificate so we could store it in an album to which he responded, “I have thrown it away in the bin because it was damaged.”
“Now, there is an important lesson to learn here” I told him. “It is what the award represents that matters. Not the cost or the size of the item that signifies it. Whether there are 500 or 5 people in the group, the effort you went through to achieve the award is something that will stick with you for the rest of your life. Therefore, tomorrow you are to go to school and explain your certificate was damaged and see if you can get a reprint.”
So the next part is amusing for me because he then moved to create and print a replacement certificate on his computer and signed it PE teacher. Whilst I gave him 10/10 for ingenuity I explained he had now has created a newer and probably funnier memory for the award by creating his own certificate.
The point I’m making here is that if a 12-year-old can overcome challenge and adversity, regardless of being orthodox, what is stopping you? Now I’m not saying that my son forging a copy of the Best Fencer Award certificate was entirely ethical, but it was a solution and one he thought was right at the time.
So what is holding you back now? What can you do today to win? How would achieving the equivalent of your 800 metre race change your life?
If you are interested in learning how to use winning strategies that allow you to overcome your challenges then get in contact with me here for a chat.