As I'm approaching the end of my high school senior year, I wanted to take a moment and remind myself of all the things I've learned from the past 12+ years. Although I consider myself a top achiever, there were years when I definitely had low grades and had to bounce back all on my own. In addition to this, I was always surrounded by different types of students which made me observe and learn from others. If I had to give advice to help others succeed academically, I would say you have to eliminate these 5 limiting beliefs in order to do so:
1. You have to stop comparing yourself to other students
I've personally gone through this at one point and I'm sure I'm not alone. We often keep comparing ourselves and our grades to others and this is what brings us down. However, if you start comparing your old self to your new self, then this is how you will rise and succeed.
Compare your grades at the beginning of the semester to your grades at the end. Compare your class participation over the school year. Compare your level of creativity after every new class project. Compare your communication skills after group discussions. Learn to improve from yourself! It might take weeks, months, or even years, but this is how you'll truly become the best version of yourself by the time you graduate high school. Things take time and you just have to learn to be patient.
2. Feedback doesn't mean that you are not good enough
Some teachers choose to always give feedback to students before submitting any assignment or project. While this is a definitely good thing, some students take it personally and become mentally demotivated. For example, you would think you spent so much time working on this assignment, and the teacher still isn't satisfied; however, this is a wrong way of thinking.
Feedback doesn't mean the teacher isn't satisfied with your work. It means that the teacher is trying to help you out and teach you to improve yourself. Instead of feeling like your work is not good enough, learn to save these comments and use them in upcoming assignments/projects. Learn from your mistakes and aim to achieve higher every time. Feedback is supposed to teach you to go above and beyond in your assigned work instead of only meeting expectations.
3. You don't have to study for 12 hours straight to score a high mark
I've always been surrounded by students who I would hear them saying, “I studied all day yesterday and I still failed the exam. I'm not studying again, because there's no point”. Unfortunately, this mindset has caused many students to believe that their hard work doesn't pay off; however, this is completely wrong. HARD WORK ALWAYS PAYS OFF! If it doesn't, then you should start observing the way you study. You might just be simply using the wrong studying methods.
For instance, you can't study math by merely looking at the book or by memorizing. A subject like math needs heavy practice. You can spend a whole day memorizing math steps and still score a low grade because this isn't how it works. I would advise you to ask top achievers on how they study or ask teachers for recommendations. Try changing your study methods until you find a suitable one and always remember that every person is different!
4. Helping others isn't a waste of time
Many students believe that they shouldn't help others, because it's such a waste of time, and they would rather use this time to work on themselves instead. However, helping others is never a waste of time, and always remember that you might be the only one to help this person out. Even if you know they won't be able to pay you back, this shouldn't stop you.
From personal experience, helping others actually helps you understand the topic in more depth. One of my teachers once told me that if you can explain something to someone then this ensures that you have a clear and deep understanding of it. This is a great way to always evaluate your understanding of the subject/topic. You will never lose anything by helping others, but instead, you will gain!
“I'm starting to think this world is just a place for us to learn that we need each other more than we want to admit.”
5. There's no such thing as “I'm not a science/math person”
I would say this is the most common limiting belief that really prevents a lot of students from succeeding academically. THIS IS JUST WRONG! We are all humans. All humans do math, science, history, English, et cetera. You can learn anything and at any time. It's never too late. I understand if you grew up disliking it because of a teacher; however, you can always learn to like a subject again.
The "I'm not a science/math person" is just a destructive idea. If you really want something, you will work for it. You can't expect to get high grades when you keep on fooling yourself with this phrase. Give everything a try! For once, try joining an online class with a different teacher or ask a close friend for help. As the Psychologists Lisa Blackwell, Kali Trzesniewski, and Carol Dweck once said, “You can always greatly change how intelligent you are”.