Thursday, 15 December 2011


We are all influenced by everything around us, each thing we see, hear, feel or even notice creates an impression and has an impact on us even though most of this influence is subliminal (not conscious). I read some statistics one time stating something along the lines of; "We believe 10 % of what we read, 50% of what we're told by others, 80% of what we see and 100% of what we tell ourselves." I may have the numbers slightly incorrect, however, the relationship is right. The two I want to talk about today is what we see and what we tell ourselves.

These two are somewhat related in many ways. We are influenced by what we see even without knowing it, and we are totally believing of everything we tell our selves.

This knowledge has really had an impact on my teaching practice. I have put this concept to the test (being a science teacher has its advantages *smile*) in my classrooms, and I can definitely attest to the truth of this concept.

On one occasion I had a group of really challenging young people. Their choice of behaviours was less than ideal, their manner in addressing each other and me was not at all respectful and their attitude towards it all, was that I had absolutely no say over their choices and no ability to change it. On one count they were right, I have absolutely no right to control the choices of others! On the other hand, they were SOOOOOO wrong! I most definitely have the ability to influence them and perhaps encourage them to change their choices...a challenge! I decided that any overt attempt at discipline was doomed to failure before it began because this is exactly what they were expecting. Quite frankly, they were experts at diverting the "usual" methods of discipline, this is how they had developed the attitude that I was powerless (bit unfair for them, they underestimated me *cheeky grin*). I spent a couple of days getting to know them, their habits and their particular methods of disruption and engagement, I did not attempt to actively engage them in the curriculum yet. I made a large quantity of A4 posters for the room in coloured paper, each with a positive affirmation on it such as, "I enjoy learning," "I choose to respect others," "I appreciate the gifts I am given," "I am happy," "I love who I am," and other things like this. I then proceeded to wall paper the rooms of my classroom, wherever there was a free space, up went the posters until the room became a riot of colour and positivity. My engagement with them was always respectful, without raised voices and the like, and each time they chose to act in a way that was not respectful they were issued a certain number. For rather large infringements the number was high, for relatively minor incidents, the number was low. At an appropriate moment, the students added up the numbers they received for the lesson and had to read out loud, that same number of affirmations from the wall. It didn't matter which ones, or whether they repeated the same one multiple times. I trusted their divine team to guide them to the ones that would be the most helpful to them. The students willingly complied with this "punishment" thinking that they were "getting off" without consequence.

Can you imagine what happened? After a few weeks, there were significant changes in their attitude and their conduct towards each other. These students behaved this way because they were testing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour (like all teenagers do at some point), but mainly because there were underlying issues of self worth and the like. By making the room colourful and positive I was feeding into the concept that we are influenced by what we see; I practically smothered them in positive love energy *giggle* By making them read the affirmations, I was feeding into the concept that we believe what we tell ourselves, this is why I made them read them out loud. They had no chance *grin* They couldn't/wouldn't fight me on this because it was far better than traditional forms of "discipline" could have been, they had no choice but to be influenced.

The reason I told you this story is that every day, we are influenced by everything we see and tell ourselves. What are you subjecting yourself to? What type of messages do you send yourself? What is it that you consciously or subconsciously tell yourself to believe? If we have the tendency to believe 100% of what we tell ourselves, I choose to tell myself I am talented, beautiful, positive and happy...what about you?

With love and light

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