"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right."
This past week has been particularly tough and frankly, I am running out of steam. I had my final Adult Health III test and sat through a six hour lecture followed by another test. I am physically and emotionally exhausted. While I was preparing for my Adult Health III final (the hardest test I have taken in nursing school), I started to let my mind fill up with self-doubt. The night before the exam I was setting myself up for failure. It was not from lack of studying, but from my inner-dialogue.
When I awoke the next morning I started giving myself a pep-talk. I did this while I got ready and on the drive to school. By the time I sat down to take the test I had a whole new mindset. I told myself I could do this and that I was going to pass this test. I had this mental picture of me running a race all bloody and bruised limping towards the finish line. As I progressed though the test, I kept telling myself I could see the finish line...it was just a few more steps. I knew that even if I had to crawl, I was going to make it to the end. I had made it too far to fail now. Thankfully, I passed the test.
The next day as we were sitting in Seminar (it is a class to prepare us for the BIG test we have to pass to become licensed), one of my professors brought up the Henry Ford quote I wrote above. Then she told us a story of a past student who was academically smart and had every reason to pass the Big test. Yet, the night before she was saying how she was going to fail. On paper, there was no reason she should have failed. She did well academically and had been studying faithfully. However, she ended up failing. Why? Self-doubt.
How we talk to ourselves is just as important as how we prepare ourselves. We can practice until we're perfect, but if we lose hope in ourselves, then we fail. I have struggled to keep an optimistic mind, especially as I am finishing up school. I have been very fortunate to have a strong support system that has kept pushing me. Yet, at the end of the day it is all up to me. I have seen first hand how self-talk affects you. I challenge you, and myself, to keep a positive attitude...even when you think it is hopeless. If we give it our all, then we never truly fail.