Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Her Perceived Strength Is Actually Weakness

This was part of a text a student sent me 10 minutes ago:

"... because I'm proud and stubborn, and like to feel that I'm on par with the rest of the world."

This sentence bothers me, and shows that this particular student has missed something I've been trying to teach her. For now, I'll blame myself because I should've been able to help create a new type of thinking in the 3 years we've been working together.

Pride and stubbornness don't belong in the world she lives in. She's a college athlete- - strong, independent, and extremely bright, but by allowing these two "attitudes" to enter her mindset, she's ultimately giving up control of her power. To be prideful and stubborn is to be weak! This isn't her... or at the very least, isn't who she's trying to become.

Why does she want to be "on par with the rest of the world?" Instead, why not feel the need to be better, bigger, more creative than everyone else? She's constantly telling me in our sessions that she wants to stand out, but how is wanting to be like them standing out? 

I think she believes these qualities are what keep her strong, but this is a common trap many fall into. By allowing stubbornness and pride to dominate, she feels a certain power... unfortunately, making choices with these two negatives leading the way will eventually make that strength disappear. 

The tighter she squeezes, the weaker her grip becomes!


Erica Cano said...

i think she probably likes to be able to do what other people do& more. not only what others can do. i dont think she thinks they keep her strong. i think she acknowledges that they are her weaknesses with hopes that those around her will accept the things she does when she is able.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Why would she want to do what "others do more?" I know you don't know her, but you're a college athlete too, who's worked on her mindset...

She has never acknowledged any weaknesses that have to do w/ pride and stubbornness, although she DOES understand there are many weaknesses. When she reads this and responds (prolly by text), she'll argue that her stubbornness is what sets her apart on the field.

I'm willing to give her a bit of "stubbornness strength" as it relates to never quitting, but not as it relates to change or improving character issues.

Erica Cano said...

NO, that's not what i meant. i mean she wants to be able to do what others CAN do. equate whatever it was to being able to walk. not everyone can walk, but the majority of people can. whatever it was, im sure there is a large sum of people who can do it and maybe she can't always, but when she has those days where "walking" is possible, im sure she would take advantage of that situation, yes?

and YEAH, stubborness in the sense that she might not being willing to accept failure IS something that could theoretically set her apart from the crowd. Although by the way you're attacking her stubborness im sure that this is not the context you took it.

And she sounds like a clearly prideful person. By prideful i mean proud in the sense that when she is able to do something, she wishes that peoople around her would be willing to accept what she has to give, regardless of her average ability to do said action.


Dayne Gingrich said...

You sound as if you may have a little bit of her in you, as I'm sure we all do... but you, especially as a female athlete!

Explain what you mean when you say, "accept what she has to give..." If she's giving, why should she want acceptance?

Does GIVING mean effort? Does it mean GIFT?

Remember... she doesn't have any control over what others accept of don't accept. All she's got is her effort and ability to "give," whatever that means. I'm obviously talking to you too, Erica!

Dayne Gingrich said...


I can totally relate to this girl and what you are saying Dayne. Pride and stubborness can eat you alive and also taint your reality. When you let what others do, what others have, or what others achieve influence your happiness, you WILL be miserable.

Don't try to be like everyone else, be happy with who YOU are. I have always told my girls that there will always be someone smarter, prettier, more athletic, etc. The key is to be the best YOU can be...sounds corny...but true. I think especially girls and parents of girls struggle with this.