Positive Psychology in practice


I am thinking about determination!
The intention to carry out some idea to the end. 

If someone tells us we can’t do something, do we believe them?

I am thinking about determination. Self-belief. The intention to carry out some idea to the end. In principle, we all know that it (or that they are all) are important, but how many of us have faith in ourselves and actively encourage it?

I watched the movie “Freedom writers” – based on a true story. An inexperienced teacher in a Los Angeles neighborhood has taken over a classroom full of troubled children, mostly gang members, going to school as punishment, fearing for their lives and for most people as if they are written off.

This young budding teacher appears who, despite being ignored by the whole school, despite the intolerance in the classroom because they are all members of different gangs and clans, despite them being undisciplined and disrespectful to her and to each other, she decides to see potential in them. Simply because she cares, and because she believes they have a choice (other than to die on the street) she doesn’t give up on them, she begins to reach them slowly yet certainly. By approaching their world and adapting the curriculum to them, she manages to open them up more and more, to make them realize that they have more in common than they think.

Constant effort, doing two more jobs to raise enough money to take them on a school trip because the school didn’t want to fund it, led to them not only respecting her but also adoring her. So much so that together they fought to be left to study two years longer in the upper grades that the system did not initially allow. With her, these children suddenly start to have significantly better grades, write diaries, bring guest lecturers, and until recently they only found reasons to give up.

It sounds a bit like a fairytale, after all it is a movie. But remember the beginning, it was filmed according to a true story. One lone teacher saw potential in troubled children and with her support these children changed their lives and began to believe they had a future, they graduated, and many of them were the first to reach graduation in their families.

All because of faith. Sometimes even crazy faith and a refusal to give up on them.

I think about how many of us had someone who believed in us like that as we grew up. Who persevered with us, who saw our potential even when we didn’t see it ourselves? Blessed are those who have had someone like that, but what about those who have not? Do you now have people around you who believe in you, who will support you when they hear your idea instead of making fun of you? Which when you say – I want to be an artist (or an architect, or a coach, or an athlete or whatever comes to mind) or when you say – I want to change / find a job, fall in love again, become a triathlete or lose those 10 kg of excess weight that I’ve been carrying for years… actually say – Bravo, I’m with you, how can I help you?

How many will say: You can’t do that. That’s too hard. Too complicated. Too expensive. Makes no sense. You see that others have failed to do so. Or – so you’ve already tried, why try again? What are you missing now? Do we trust them when they tell us that? Did we believe our whole lives when they told us that? Are we giving up on ourselves because there is no one who really “sees” us or do we not have enough such people?

It’s nice when you have support and I believe it’s up to us to surround ourselves with it. We can have it when we consciously choose who our friends and acquaintances are and when we invest in relationships – when we give the same kind of support we would like to receive.

But there is a step before that. What if there are no such people around us yet? Are they to blame for us giving up on ourselves? Are others to blame, the country, the crisis, the whole world?

It’s so easy to run away from responsibility and blame everyone around you.

Let’s go back to the first step. Can we expect the support of others if we do not believe in ourselves – it is our choice and right to be our own mirror if there is no one else nearby (currently or otherwise). Will we believe in ourselves and decide (even if we are lonely and crazy) – I want it for myself, I can do it and I will find a way to achieve it. Or will I continue to believe that – I can’t?

What choice are you making?