I am a final year student at varsity. Interesting stuff mate that you wrote. As you put it “A feeling of unhappiness, frustration, doubt, fear and anxiety is all symptoms that we are right in the middle of a RESISTANCE storm. A feeling of boredom or dissatisfaction is also a solid indicator that we are in a state of RESISTANCE”. What should we do when we are in that state. I am in that state now, and I fear that failure is upon me but it it hasn’t struck yet.
Since I got to Varsity I have never failed and all of a sudden, I feel like I am going to crumble. The reason being that back at home there are problems and people back home are looking for me to pass my final year this year and graduate and get a job and serve the situation at home and that is just putting me under pressure because there is no room for me to fail. Even if I pass what if I don’t get a job, things have since changed having a Degree does not guarantee you a job and its eating me day by day. I have always thought I’m brave, resistant to pain and incapable of suffering but now my strength is being questioned. Please help.
I am withholding the name of the reader that wrote the above letter to protect his or her identity. Here is my answer:
The moment you bring in a time factor into any equation you change the whole dynamic of the situation. You immediately create a pressure cooker effect that in most cases are counter productive. The time factor creates a spirit of RESISTANCE in us. We usually have two ways that we respond when we are forced into a corridor like this. We develop stress and anxiety symptoms or allow feelings of rebellion to take over our thinking. We can also develop tunnel vision when we become anxious. All we can see is where we are currently and the expected date where our objective must be successfully concluded. The final objective suddenly feels light years away. It is our fear of failure that plays a vital part in the negative and destructive feelings that take over our life. My friend you must remember that nothing really changed other than the “failure is not an option” element that was added to your recipe. You would have remained a happy and successful student if you were not loaded with the unfair weights that you added to your journey. It is not relevant who created this imbalance that is currently causing your discomfort. It is however vital that you understand that all you can do is the best you can on a day-today basis. The RESISTANCE that you currently experience must be released. The only way to release this RESISTANCE is to become objective and see things as they are. You can either continue to study and do your best and possibly achieve your desired outcome or you can let the fear of failure take over your thinking and ensure failure. It would appear to me that your best option is to continue to do your level best and give yourself a fair chance of successfully finishing your studies. Remember that all the negative feelings you experience came about because of your thinking and not because of the circumstances described in your letter. We always have an option how we decide how we respond to any given situation.
The situation at home is unfortunate, but can you do anything today to change anything in this regard? You can only begin to see how you can contribute once you have finished your fist priority right now. Your first priority now is to get your degree and nothing else matter until that joyful day. Say a friend of yours is very sick and he is a million miles away. You would love to be there for your friend, but cannot bridge this gap even if you tried. The same goes in this situation. Your family have a problem, but you can do absolutely nothing until you are equipped to act in a responsible manner. You will only be equipped to contribute once you completed your studies. It is thus foolish to worry about things that are currently out of your reach. All you can do is to continue to work toward your study goals – one day at a time. Give each day your best. Stop RESISTING something that you currently have absolutely no control over. All you currently have control over is your student duties.