I once had a teacher in high school that was absolutely unbearable. Each morning, I dreaded the walk to her class and the 45 minutes spent in it as well. For guaranteed participation, she would use notecards that had our names written on them. Every day my name would be called and that stressed me out! Us students would try to memorize our spots on the notecards, so we’d be prepared whenever she’d call on one of us. To make matters worse, she’d accidentally drop the cards and completely (unknowingly) ruin our chances of not looking like a fool.
I was performing terribly in class. Not only was I utterly terrified of her, but I was also way too afraid to ask for help. It was the fear of going to her blind, the fear of exposing my subpar math skills, and the fear of saying the wrong thing in front of her. We had a social worker at the school who I paid frequent visits to. I shared my plight with her, pleading with her to tell me what to do. I was scared I’d fail the class and even more scared to ask for help. I didn’t know what to do…
Then, she asked me something that would change the way I viewed and solved all my problems to this day. She asked, “Desiree, have you done everything in your power to make it go your way?”
I stared at her blankly for a few seconds and questioned, “What do you mean?” Then, she repeated the question. The thing was, I hadn’t done everything in my power. I was throwing in the towel when I hadn’t done anything. Not only was I being extremely passive with myself, but I was executing a form of self-sabotage by not seeking the help I needed. So the answer was ‘no,’ I was not.
From then on out, I signed up for tutoring services provided by the school. I would even schedule tutoring with the teacher. Receiving tutoring, along with the work I was putting into the course, allowed me to pass with a B at the end of the year.
I now live by this quote. I don’t quit unless I know I checked off all the possible boxes. It’s so easy to quit something difficult when you have enough reasons to, but in reality, those reasons could be why you should continue. It’s so easy to immediately drawback when someone tells you ‘no’ for something you’re passionate about. Sometimes ‘no’ can mean ‘try it from a different angle.’
The key is to remember why you started in the first place: why you took this class, why you started this project, or why you started this job. Honor your pace and keep it going.
“I didn’t come this far to only come this far.” -Unknown