I remember feeling like a complete failure at the start of grade 10. I was trying to recover from a (fake, but real at the time) breakup, slowly getting down the pigeonhole of texting and media. Furthermore, every other person in school felt smarter and I felt like I was not enough. I couldn’t feel more uncomfortable. I felt perplexed.
Somehow I couldn’t identify a place for myself to fit in. I didn’t like how I looked in my beige uniform. My smile wasn’t cute to me and somehow, I felt so awkward in my body. I didn’t know why. But discomfort and uncertainty come for a reason. Today, I’m giving you motivation. Whether you need to open those textbooks and need motivation to study, or you have to get another PPT ready for office, or you’re in a dark place with your family or friends and you really need hope, keep reading.
A time of venturing outside the comfort zone
I had no friends in my class and I had to fight to get into another division. I didn’t know my teachers well at the moment. They thought I was just an average child. All the people that made me feel stupid were in my class and as a result, I kept fidgeting and feeling out of place all the hours I spent in school.
I had to work my way up slowly over time. I had all the nerves in my body asking me to be the unnoticed child in class. Nonetheless, I used to put my hand up and try to answer questions. It made my want to cry. Everyone seemed cleverer. I didn’t know how I would cope up.
All these big guys in school had an air around them that signaled, “You are insignificant and you don’t belong here.” Besides, I had a serious lack of confidence and self-esteem. In short, everything good about me was crumbling.
Everyone thought I was some stupid child that didn’t matter. Or maybe I thought that they thought of me that way. And especially, people who stopped being friends with me because they needed to spend more time studying, I wanted, desperately, to show them that I was not a failure. Not even an average child. I was more than that.
That’s how I slowly turned into a competitive achiever at academics.
I was battling with myself
I thought I was battling with people in school. But really, I was only battling with myself. I was in the middle of a time of finding myself, amongst all the hormonal imbalances, amongst all the awkward, stranger friends I had, amongst all those who I deemed more studious than me. All I truly needed was to change the way I saw myself.I thought I was battling with people in school. But really, I was only battling with myself Click To Tweet
One day at school, a seminar for productivity, namely, “efficiency in academics” was conducted. We walked up to the school hall in a straight line, just like the way it had always been. The stage was decorated with thermocol and paper somethings pinned against a navy blue cloth. Typical school hall decor. Clearly it was some guest. The man dressed in a business suit came along with a PPT and lots of confidence all ready.
In the course of the talk, the guy asked us to take a moment or two. They handed us a sheet of paper with various questions on it. He asked us to silently write down what grade or how much % we want to achieve at the end of the year. In grade 10. Grade 10 is a big deal. We live in India. So, obviously.
I wrote a big paragraph, as always, about how and what I wanted to achieve. Of course, I didn’t trust that I would really achieve all that. As I was writing, I remember feeling so stupid because I thought my elbow looked shapeless to the girls sitting at the back. That’s the level of pessimism I used to have.
I wrote 85% at the time. That’s how much I wanted. I didn’t dare write a bigger number. Just in case I wouldn’t be able to exceed that ‘above 90%’ goal.
The turning point
The frustration was too much. Unlike other days, I looked across the room during those 2 minutes of reflection, at everyone of my friends who were the reason for my overthinking problem. I thought about how they didn’t really want me and I was just hanging by, begging for company and belonging. I recalled all the times I got the opposite of what I gave. Love was what I had given.
Then, I canceled that underdog number 85 with heavy angry blue ink. And I wrote 95. Would I really score that much? Undoubtedly, I would not. But what if I did after all?
In that next one hour, I decided that I would trust myself. I would trust myself even though I had haters sitting just a few inches away in my class. I decided that I would be tougher than I have ever been and I would make that number happen.
My ambitious mind was determined to push. To push above all the people who made me cry. All the awkward times I had with making new friends, all the scoldings my new teachers gave me. All that year, I slogged and prayed hard. Deep inside my heart, I wanted to be the girl I could fall back on, even if the world seemed scary. I found ways to study and woke up early even if I didn’t want to. I started coming up with creative ways to study and made my own routineClick “here” to read about habits and routines for a successful academic year.
At the end of the final semester, I was much better. In contrast to my past self, I had faith in myself and in Jesus, who was the makeover guy in all of this (if you haven’t noticed).
June 13th- Grade 10 result day
I was sitting on the couch anxious right from 11 a.m. The results weren’t until 1 p.m. online. When it was 1 p.m, we lost our WiFi connection. I hurried downstairs to my friend’s house, hoping they’d still have a connection. They did.
Another two minutes and my entire mark-sheet was on the screen. I had started to silently cry when I saw the number and my heart was pounding loudly. I ran back up to my house and knelt before the altar. In silent gratitude.
I scored 94%. One less to 95%. A year of discomfort and pain had paid off.
If you’re going through a season of pain, discomfort and you feel all the negativity there is in the world, that’s okay. You don’t have to try and shush the feelings away. In my opinion, this is either a test of your strength and faith, or a moulding session. God is preparing you for something greater. And you don’t even need to always feel confident and perfect. God takes care of all that. And with Jesus, you will get through the darkest of phases. Keep hope!
Click “here”to read my Grade 12 success story.
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