Yesterday at Van Nuys High School, I conducted a session of Leaders PLUS ME with a group of 11th graders. We focused our work on Knowing Yourself and Self Confidence. Towards the end of the session, I asked the students to take three minutes to write down a list of their accomplishments.
Before you continue reading, I challenge you to this activity. Pause for 30 seconds and list some of your accomplishments (in your head).
Focusing back on the classroom, there were 28 students in attendance. At the end of the three minutes, 8 of the students had at least one thing written down and the other 20 had nothing.
When I called "TIME!", one girl mumbled out to her friend next to her, "I have not accomplished anything in my life." Over 70% of the class felt the same way.
Does this surprise you?
Unfortunately, a large majority of the students I interact with on a weekly basis feel this way. Most students do not feel like they have achieved much in their lives. When I ask them to share with me what accomplishments are, I often get the same responses:
After hearing this, I focused on encouraging students to break the paradigm in their minds of what they think an accomplishment is. Instead of talking about things they had accomplished, we talked about things they have done. Here is what some of them said:
Once students began sharing these types of things, more students shared everyday things they have done. As more and more shared, the lightbulbs went off. Students began to write these things down on their paper and smiled realizing they have accomplished things in their lives.
At the end of our session, I had the students share what their biggest learning from the session was. One girl raised her hand and said, "I learned that accomplishments are what you want them to be!"
I hope in your current journey, you can use this learning and apply it to your life. Be proud of what you've accomplished, no matter how small it may be.
Contact Richard Reyes - Founder/Executive Director - firstname.lastname@example.org