At College Success Plan, we are constantly reminding our students that there is a solution to every problem. No matter how desperate or dire a situation may feel, there are always opportunities for improvement and growth. Our Mentors empower students with this knowledge and guide them to identify these opportunities and take action. By focusing on the things you can control and releasing control of those you cannot, you minimize anxiety and are better able to identify a path forward.
When students focus on the aspects of their education that they can control, the results are positive and impactful. Conversely, when students focus their energy on things they cannot control, many become overwhelmed, pessimistic and ultimately paralyzed by their inability to solve the entire problem. By helping students break off bite-sized pieces, their problems become more manageable and they experience the satisfaction of small successes, which further motivates effort and growth.
Through deliberate discussion and exercises, our Mentors engage in conversations with students to determine which areas of stress and worry are within their control. The average person’s circle of concern includes health, family, school/work, politics, etc; whereas, a person’s circle of control includes proactive steps that can be taken to protect those concerns. For instance, my general health is of great concern to me; within my control is my ability to eat healthily today, to exercise this week, to go to bed earlier, to get a yearly check-up, and so on. A student’s grades are of great concern; items within control include completing an overdue assignment, emailing a professor to ask for an extension, scheduling a meeting with a TA to formulate a catch-up plan or setting up an appointment with a tutor on campus.
Identifying steps within our control inspires proactivity and makes us feel less helpless. When we can see a real path leading towards our ultimate goals, the fear of never reaching those goals becomes less daunting. Indecision is the primary impediment to success, and we at College Success Plan strive to inspire each student to action upon identifying which steps can be taken and how. Ultimately, problem-solving skills such as these are vital tools for survival and success in the real world and instilling these in our students while they are still in college sets them up for a lifetime of ambition and resourcefulness.
If your student struggles to differentiate between the things he or she can and cannot control, please give us a call to learn more about how College Success Plan is educating and empowering students!