Escaping the Pit of Pessimism

I’ve been in a pit of pessimism lately.  I feel like I am alone. I feel insignificant.  I feel like trying is fruitless.  I feel like people don’t notice me.  We all experience these feelings from time to time.  But, what causes us to experience this feeling?  Where do these feelings grow?  Under what conditions enable us to have them?

Expectations.  Expectations with tough, out-of-my-control obstacles.  My pit of pessimism is just a grown-up version of a tantrum.  I am not getting what I want when I want it!  It’s funny viewing it from this perspective.  Here are some of my recent expectations digging the pit.

  • My students behaving because I am nice to them.
  • The “why” to teach something will be extremely obvious.
  • My students being able to perform experiments independently.
  • My necessity of being present at the science fair.

Each of these expectations are not in my control.  For example, I can’t control my students’ behavior for they live their own lives.  A set-in-stone purpose doesn’t exist for emotions cause purpose and we experience different emotions.  And, I can’t control the person who allowed my students to sign in and register without me at the science fair.  How can we avoid this pit of pessimism?

One thing that just worked for me (literally) was realizing I could not control these expectations.  I can influence, yes, but I cannot control.  Being mindful of what we can and cannot strongly influence would help avoid this feeling.  A second idea is to think about what gains we’ve made in getting closer to our expected outcome.  I will wrap this post up by doing just that.

My students speak to me openly which happens when they trust me.

I am conscious of the need of having a reason to learn something.

Some of my students have designed their own experiments.

I went to my first science fair as a mentor.

What have you achieved that gets you closer to one of your own expectations/goals/values?


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