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December 13, 2014

Knowing Your Faults and Owning Up to Them

I hate math. I hate it because I'm not good at it and despite it being forced upon me for a good portion of the 16 (nearly 17-yay!) years I've spent on this Earth I've just never grasped the concepts--especially this year. While last year I was floating on air with a 106% in math (it was a cake class) this year I'm drowning and it's an awful, twisted, dark feeling.

My Mom likes to tell my math teachers that math is usually my worst subject because I'm not "naturally gifted" at it so I have to "work at it" more than my other subjects and that makes it frustrating to me. And it's true, Literature class isn't without its challenges but I'm certainly more gifted at writing a paper or crafting a presentation with a speech (#confidence) than solving for x or multiplying by logbase10 of y.

It's difficult for me this year, being in a math class where I'm getting the lowest grade in the class and everyone knows it. And it's not that they're laughing at me or anything, I actually love everyone in my math class (I mean there's only 7 of us so not much to love really) and they're quite supportive but I still struggle and I still get embarrassed and I still feel really really stupid.

Now objectively, I know I'm not stupid and am, in fact, quite bright. In fact I find myself a lot smarter than some people give me credit for, yet a lot dumber than I give myself credit for sometimes. The point of this is: I'm not stupid and I know this even though math class makes me feel this way.

There's a real value in recognizing your own shortfalls: it helps you to work on them, you can seek the help you need, you can place yourself where you belong in terms of society, classes whatever, and, if nothing else, it helps to hear the hard truth from yourself rather than from one of your "friends". Whether your faults include math class, writing an essay, completing a mile run without stopping, making toast without burning it etc., there are tips I can share on how to improve upon these faults. But first, a creed:

Now, this is the very very important part of this post.

Just because you aren't good at that thing....doesn't mean you aren't good at other things.

Par example....

Running is really not my thing and you will probably out-pace me (unless we're running towards Johnny Depp or something) but I will kick ass in the pool

If you can solve this: 
that's great for you but I can still write a pretty fantastic commentary on gender representation in Shakespeare's works.

And so on....

  • It's important to recognize that just because you're not good at _____, doesn't mean you're worthless or stupid. You have value! We cannot hear that enough. It's important to recognize your talents along with your faults, and don't feel bad about having pride in your talents that you know you're good at (but don't be cocky) 

  • It's also pretty important to own up to your faults, own them don't let them own you. Ask for help when you need it, try not to feel embarrassed if it seems like everyone around you gets it but you don't--I promise at least one of them is faking it and as soon as you ask for help, they'll drop the facade and ask too.

  • Make sure you put in the time necessary to work on improving your fault as well--if it's something you find worthwhile. I, sadly, don't have a choice in math class and find myself studying in my "off" hours, going for tutorials during my study hall period, reviewing the problems I got wrong, and I'm getting better about asking questions in class. Take small steps and gradually get bigger if you want to work on your fault. 

  • Lastly, make sure the fault that you're recognizing is one that you actually have and one that you recognized. If someone tells you something rude or makes an unsolicited comment--ignore them, tell them off, and don't try to change for them! If you find yourself agreeing with them, on your own terms, then you can work on the fault. But make sure it's coming directly from your desire and not from anyone else's. (Like this math class analogy again: I say people are forcing me to do it but my mom isn't standing over me forcing me to study, my teacher certainly isn't chasing after me, it's my own motivation to work on improving my grade because I know the colleges I'm looking at and the future I want to have and it needs a higher grade in math.)
You can overcome these faults, with a lot of hard work and no excuses, and at the very least you will improve--I promise.

Do you have any tips on how to recognize and overcome faults or setbacks? Feel free to share them below! 


1 comment:

  1. I was not great at math, but I kept trying hard and slowly something just clicked and I became okay at it! Stick with it and you might surprise yourself.

    Corinne x


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