Those that seem superhuman to the rest of us? The Empowered believe they have control of their lives. They think they can accomplish anything; they are right. Studies show that people that believe they can achieve their goals often do, while those that don’t don’t. In fact, Dr. Travis Bradberry tells us:
“University of Florida psychologist Tim Judge and his colleagues have shown overwhelmingly that people who feel that they control the events in their lives (more than the events control them) and are confident in their abilities end up doing better on nearly every important measure of work performance.”
The Empowered have a few super powers:
– They remain calm in the face of problems. Sure, they feel anxiety, but they manage their stress so that it motivates them rather than paralyzing them.
– They are optimistic, think positively and believe in themselves.
– They prepare for and handle change, knowing it will happen and they embrace it when it does.
According to Bradberry, you too can join this elite group and develop your own super powers. You can become one of The Empowered by following a few simple steps.
Step 1: Embrace Change.
Little changes, big changes, if you aren’t anticipating them, they can easily throw you off course. For The Empowered, coping with change comes naturally, but if you haven’t yet developed this skill, it may not. Try to anticipate what changes might come your way and how you might deal with them. In schools, change happens daily, weekly and monthly, but most often at the beginning of each new school year. Change is just a part of the deal with teaching, so pre-planning how you will adjust to changes is the first step in becoming empowered.
Step 2: Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.
So many things are outside our control as teachers. Our students have a variety of influences in their lives including family, media, and friends. We are influential in their lives but are by no means the only influence. Recognize your sphere of influence and then work within it. Do what you can and let the rest go.
Step 3: Change your thinking
Change how you think about your life and your abilities. One way to do this is by creating affirmations for yourself. Write down your statement and keep it nearby. Repeat it to yourself often. For example, your affirmation could say ‘I will only focus on what I can control.’ Or ‘I have power over the outcome of my life.’ Or ‘I can do hard things.’ Referencing your affirmations helps you create new default ways of thinking, changing that ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can.’
Step 4: Eliminate Negativity
Try to be conscious of when you are turning to negative self-talk. When you speak (or think) using words such as ‘always,’ ‘never,’ etc. you are most likely focusing on things that are both out of your control and the negative. Think of ways to rephrase your thinking to make it more positive. Instead of: ‘This student is so hard. I ALWAYS get the worst class every year.’ Try ‘This is a challenge. I know I’m a good teacher, I can make a difference in this child’s life.’
So stay positive, believe you can, and you will become one of The Empowered.
Amy Curletto has been teaching for 12 years in grades K-2. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and also has endorsements in reading and ESL. Besides education, her other passion is writing and she has always dreamed of being a writer. She lives in Utah with her husband, her 3 daughters, and her miniature schnauzer. She enjoys reading, knitting, and camping.
The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.