If we don’t change things, things won’t change.

I started off the day in a woe is my kind of place. I allowed self doubt and anxiety to creep in and interfere with what I want to accomplish. I allowed it to convince me that all the big ideas I am working on are not going to happen, that despite the thinking behind them and the kids already being excited about them I convinced myself before 6:30am that there was no way I could do it, that the plan would fail.

Shift to 8:30 as I am getting ready to drive to a meeting and I put in Atomic Habits on the playlist, a book club book that I am a part of. I love to have audiobooks playing at the gym and in the car when possible, as I type I have it streaming in the classroom as well. As the author James Clear began to narrate the story I was already hooked. I am not far in to the book but the general point seems to be that small changes in how we do things in a positive direction add up to bigger changes. These atomic (small) habits that we develop work together to build a better system to deal with the hurdles in front of us. These habits also help us to develop an identity. Through these small shift and changes we not just change how we behave but who we can be.

I started to look at the little stressors that are making me feel I can’t achieve the things I want. The big road blocks that cause the most anxiety and I broke them down into manageable simple tasks. I am going to need my students to be critical thinkers, creative writers, critical readers and empathetic. Looking at all of these as one makes the goal seem so unlikely. They are not there today but if I break it down, improve things even a fraction of an amount each day they will be. If we focus on being 1% better a day we are 7% better a week. Small changes lead to big it just takes time. I have time.

In the book Mr. Clear talks about the concept that we get what we repeat. If I focus on the fear that I can’t achieve this idea, that I can’t help my students realize their potential, realize they have a voice and it is worthy of being not only heard but amplified then it won’t happen. But if I start today, make positives steps towards change we will get there.

I can’t stop the thoughts of self doubt permanently today because they have secured a pretty strong grip on my identity over the years but I can start prying those thoughts off today. I can start focusing on finding a solution and working towards it.

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