In my new role as ESL teacher I am learning self-discipline and patience, even before the school year begins. Although I can be self-disciplined when I need to be, I am not a very patient person. I am thrown off course when confronted with ambiguous situations and unresolved issues, such as not knowing exactly what I’ll be doing or how many students I will be responsible for, or even if I’ll have many students to work with. I want to get started on my classroom, study the curriculum, plan for the first week with students, but I can’t. Instead I’m forced to wait and let things take shape.
It’s a good exercise for me. When I’m feeling calm I think that everything will work itself out. But, when I’m feeling unsure of myself (much of the time) I start doubting myself. I revert to ineffective habits: if I’m focused on negative outcomes then when they happen I won’t be blind sided. Because that’s something else I don’t like: surprises. So, I find myself in a catch 22 where every negative thought or self-doubt produces similar thoughts and more self-doubting. It’s a never ending cycle.
So, I remind myself that my thoughts and feelings, positive and negative, nurture each other. If I let go of preconceived notions and ideas I will open myself up to unexpected experiences and relationships. And, who knows? I may create something better and more satisfying than I’ve known to date.
So, here are some of my affirmations for this school year:
Stay focused on the moment so that I can enjoy it.
Acknowledge that all is well now so that I practice gratitude.
Stay focused on the positive so that I can recreate it.
Be open to whatever comes my way so that I can take advantage of it.
How do you deal with changes and uncertainties?