Believing in Myself :1/24/2021
It seems impossible to believe, but over the last couple years, my life has changed dramatically. I grew up in a toxic family, where everybody thought others were out to get them. Paranoia and complaining about everything were daily fare. That was all I knew and growing up, I often felt like I needed to fix things (since everything was always wrong). As I got married and had my 2 children, this fixer mindset continued, but as my marriage went through rough times, I realized that wasn't always possible.
After going through a divorce, I met my husband nine years ago. Things began to change after meeting him. My husband, Joe, is my champion and he believes in me in ways that I could not imagine back when I met him. He encouraged me to continue teaching after a terrible year back in 2016. Later, he encouraged me to apply to be a School Based Technology Specialist. He even encouraged me when I said I wanted to write a book.
But his belief in me alone was not enough, I needed to believe in myself. I learned starting in 2018-2019 to take more risks. This started with attending ISTE in 2019 and then through my year of CHALLENGING myself in 2020. This belief in myself has totally TRANSFORMED me. If you had looked into a crystal ball and told me that I would be publishing my book, would be blogging for close to two years and presenting across the country even three years ago, I would have said you were crazy.
It Begins with You...
This process did not just happen overnight. It came from me pushing myself to try new things. When I attended ISTE in 2019, I decided that I wanted to get all that I could from it. Despite being introverted, I went to evening events. I began conversations with people I didn't know and built connections. Back then, I didn't really know what I was doing, but looking back, it seems much clearer: I was believing in myself- what I could be!
As part of my year of TRANSFORMATION in 2021, I have been reading 10-15 minutes each day. The book I recently finished Unlocking Unlimited Potential by Dr. Brandon Beck really took the ideas that I could not previously put into words and did just that.
You control your mind, your thoughts and your emotion. These lead directly to your actions. It is all connected. (p.40)
In his book, he shares that you first need to ask what you want. Then, you need to believe it and set a course for it to happen. Last, you need to be ready to receive it. As I review my life since ISTE19, that is exactly what I have done, but I didn't realize the process I was engaging in. Being able to name what I am doing is so empowering. It makes it more concrete and helps me see where else I can go from here.
Challenges As Opportunities for Growth
In his book, Dr. Brandon Beck refers to challenges an opportunities for growth. This really resonated with me as he shared stories of others rising above their challenges and growing from them. Not only did I CHALLENGE myself to take risks in 2020, but it was a year full of CHALLENGES. COVID19 caused educators many challenges- we needed to learn an entirely new way to teach.
But in those CHALLENGES came opportunities. Teachers who had been resistant to learning new technologies became more responsive and learned things that they might have feared beforehand. I know in my staff, the growth in the teachers I work with has been exponential as far as using technology. Professional development sessions I offered in the summer were well attended. More than that, our instructional assistants came, revealing a hidden gem in all this- they were craving to learn and our greatest ally.
Unable to attend and present at conferences, I began presenting virtually. This enabled me to travel across the country which would have been cost prohibitive beforehand. Organizations like Teach Better held live events online like their 12 hour LIVE. In fact, I won this book as a giveaway from that event. Talk about an adjacent possible connection!
Reflection is Key...
As I read Unlocking Unlimited Potential, one thing was clear- reflection is key. We learn from doing first and then reflecting. He shares the idea of "reflect, learn and repeat." (p.174) If we reflect on how something went, we can learn from it as we move forward. This is a continuous process of growth. As I think about my journey, blogging has been a key vehicle for me to reflect- in fact, when something is bothering me, blogging is the best self care I can give myself. Writing helps me sort out my thoughts and make sense of things.
Dr. Brandon Beck shares that these answers have always been inside of us. We just need to believe in ourselves and stop limiting our potential. I loved how he brought this to life with stories, strategies and more. Thank you to the Teach Better team for giving me this book. Thank you to Dr. Brandon Beck for sharing your wisdom. If you want more from your life, you definitely need to check out this book. I have only shared three of the amazing nuggets I got from reading it!