Have you ever tried something new? How did you feel? Did you feel uncomfortable initially and uncertain if you would excel in the new task? Or did you feel excited about the challenge and thought you would do well at it?
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t, either way, you’re right.”
He understood well the value of having the right attitude.
Success or failure depends on attitude
When it comes to learning, the right attitude can be the deciding factor between failure and success, between boredom and fun, between staying in one place and moving forward.
Students who are excited about going to a class and who enjoy learning, tend to perform better than those who have to drag their feet to it. They may enter another “knowing” that the lesson will be boring. Rather than paying attention, their inattention ultimately leads to poor performance.
Thus, having a more positive attitude does transform a student’s results!
So how do we help our learners with having that winning attitude?
1. Eliminate disempowering thoughts
We all have inner voices within our minds. Sometimes those voices encourage us, but often they supply us with negative self-talk – I’m not good enough… I’ll never be able to…; Before we know it, we let negative thoughts cloud our minds and absorb our energy.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it,” according to best-selling author and spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle.
Start with positive affirmations. Put up colourful positive reminders in the study area where they can be seen frequently. It may not be an overnight process, but positive affirmations help redirect our brains to send us encouraging, uplifting statements—instead of negative ones. These positive affirmations build our confidence, boost our mood, and increase our productivity and happiness.
2. Encouragement: praise for effort
Parents can also offer credit where credit is due. Encourage by praising effort e.g. “You worked hard on that maths homework – well done“. When praise is focused on effort, children are more likely to see trying hard as a good thing in itself. They’re also more likely to keep trying and to be optimistic when they face challenges.
Giving credit where credit is due reinforces the positive behaviour and promote healthy self-confidence that will eventually lead to better performance in school.
3. Establish an end goal
Successful students set goals. They help you set priorities and remain motivated and committed. Having a long-term goal usually leads to setting medium and short term goals. These can help you make better decisions when considering your choices of how to spend your time.
There may be times when you feel like giving up, going to class, reading your textbook, or writing that essay. Having that long term goal will help you decide to move past that challenge and keep going.
Being focused on your goals does not mean you become a boring person who does nothing but goes to class and study all the time. Perhaps it might take some time, or the road might be arduous. However, if you believe in your dreams, then you can achieve them.
Although we’ve outlined a simple approach, having a winning attitude to learning is not easily achieved overnight.
There may be times when you feel like giving up. It is a process – we need to be vigilant in curbing those negative thoughts, being encouraged, and staying focused. The process, though, is well worth the effort i.e. the right attitude to learning will make a big difference to success in our lives.