Monday, August 19, 2019

Coming In Second

In 2nd Place from Sioux's Page, Sioux Roslawski asks,

“How do you handle not making #1? Does missing top spot get you discouraged?

Or, does it make you dig your heels in and try even harder the next time?”

I really don’t mind coming in second place because I hate when the limelight is on me which would happen if I came in first.

I think I’ve always felt uncomfortable if someone calls me the best or if I win a competition. I have never liked to compete in competitive sports. I hated when I was young and had to be in a state accordion competition. I hated the pressure and expectations. I hate the worry about failure or embarrassing myself and my family. When I ran for public office, I hated those feelings and it was just as bad when I won the first term and lost the second term.

I once had a friend that told me that I like to show off and love to be the center of attention. That has stuck with me for many years and it really hurt my feelings. Now I feel very uncomfortable when I hear those words in the back of my head whenever I am doing something in front of people. I don’t want to be a showoff and now I constantly worry about what people may be thinking about me. These anxious moments will drive me crazy.

On the other hand, I resent these feelings and try to push myself through them. Why shouldn’t I be proud of my accomplishments? Why shouldn’t I try to be the best in what I want to compete at? Why is wanting to be the best wrong? Why do I let this one person’s words control my behavior?

When I accomplish something good, I have to remind myself that it is okay to feel proud of what I’ve done. It is okay to show off my accomplishments as long as it doesn’t put anyone else down. My husband is always telling me that it is okay to “toot my own horn” because others might now know about something if I don’t share it. He is my biggest cheerleader.

I wonder how many of my students feel the same way. How many of my students have let one person’s negative words shape their future? Why are negative words so much stronger than positive words?

How can I help my students get past these same feelings? The only way I know how to is by sharing my experience with them. Talking about them and discussing these feelings help bring them out in the open. Maybe by sharing and talking about them, the negative words will lose some of their power. Then we can work on replacing the negative statements with more positive statements.

How do you help students who come in second place? How do you help them overcome negative thoughts that shape their behavior? Please share.

Photo by Boris Stefanik on Unsplash

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