The current generation of 7-12 grade students has the highest rates of depression and anxiety because of their desire to achieve perfection. The habitual need to label everything as a failure or success only further perpetuates perfectionism. This is particularly true in the forensics community where we get critiqued on a daily basis and actually strongly desire constructive criticism. The Perfectionism Standard suggests any score below a 1/25 or 1/100 is a failure, meaning you will fail the majority of the time. Yet, many students continually internalize judgeand/or coach comments as a critique of their self-worth. I firmly believe the only time you fail is when you start blaming others for not reaching your goals.
The third SPEAK2compete Principle of Success: NEVER LET SOMEONE ELSE DETERMINE YOUR SUCCESS. We often let someone else’s opinions and thoughts determine our aspirations. In other words, we allow someone else to become our reality. When we allow others to influence our dreams, we are no longer in control of our destiny and we become trapped. The noise of others becomes so loud we cannot visualize what we desire with any clarity. It takes courage to claim you want to win a national championship, a state championship, be the first student from your school to qualify for state, etc., especially if your school does not have a long history of accomplishments.
It was not until I stated my desire out loud did I believe I could coach a team to a top 20 national finish at the American Forensic Association National Tournament. In fact, when I did have the guts to say it out loud, many decision makers chuckled, some students claimed it could not be done, and others simply questioned why I wanted to win a national championship. In the face of these questions, I stuck to my vision of success, I remained confident in my vision, and I took control of my actions and beliefs.
It only takes one person to believe you are worthy of success and it always starts with you! This starts by taking the following actions:
- Start visualizing what you want, NOT what others think
- Remove the limits placed on you by others
- Believe you are worthy
- Stop blaming others
- Offend others with your dreams
As the great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden argues, success is in all of us, but it is up to us to bring it out. Success starts with you!