Updated: Oct 13
How well you believe you can deal with a situation, like an exam, can impact how well you perform in that situation.
Do you find yourself doing these things?
Not liking to set yourself a goal.
Fear of failing.
Procrastinate too much.
There are things you hate in your life but you do not do anything about them.
It could be that despite your passions, strengths and aptitudes – your self-confidence is not quite right – yet. Here is a hack to help you maintain or improve confidence in yourself to achieve a specific goal.
Tell Yourself Something Good
Basically, you regularly tell yourself statements of your worth and value. Sound odd, awkward, weird or a bit mad? Put your scepticism to one side. There is good science proving that it can
Increase academic achievement
Improve feelings of hopefulness
Similar to exercise, self-affirmations increase levels of feel-good hormones. From which our brains form new nuggets of “positive thought”. It can also help break patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech and, negative actions.
How To Get Started
This life hack only takes a few minutes a day to start to make a positive change. So what have you got to lose? Here is a straightforward approach to getting started.
What Are Your Values?
The first step is to review what are your values. What principles, standards or qualities that you hold in the highest regard and why do you feel that way? Have you had a positive or negative experience that resulted in you committing to that value?
Here’s a list to help get you started, feel free to add others that are important to you. Once you have created your list, rank them and pick the top four or five. If you have chosen values that are very similar consider grouping them.
Make A Statement. Make A Stand.
Now it’s time to write a handful of positive statements related to your most important values. You are what you think, so you need to decide on which of these statements are meaningful to you, what you want and the person you want to be.
Here are a few examples of positive self-affirming statements to help get you started.
I believe that the brain can be developed like a muscle.
I can solve most problems if I invest the necessary effort.
I believe hard work pays off.
I am a quick, capable learner.
I do my very best, and that’s good enough.
I trust my gut.
I follow my heart.
I believe in myself.
I am accountable.
I am strong.
I treat others the way they want to be treated.
I help people.
I am resilient.
My body is amazing just the way it is, and I accept myself this way.
Give It A Go
When you’ve written down your positive statements to yourself, you need to make time to say them to yourself. For these positive affirmations to help you make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel, you need to practice them regularly. Keep in mind that to create a habit, you need to practice a behaviour/technique for at least eighteen days maybe even longer before it starts to become a habit.
Set aside a minute, three times a day and say your statements to yourself and check-in with yourself. Are your thoughts and actions aligned to your values? Are you getting closer to your goal?
We’d love to hear how you go. You can comment on this post or send it to us using the chat feature at the bottom right of this page.
You can reduce your exam stress by using a good study plan. A timetable helps you become more organised and accountable for your results. A good study plan balances your study and life using proven learning science techniques to help you study efficiently. You can easily, create your personalised high school study timetable @ www.eggion.com.
Reference Sources Sherman, D. K., & Cohen, G. L. (2006). The psychology of self-defense: Self-affirmation theory. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology: Vol. 38. Advances in experimental social psychology, Vol. 38 (p. 183–242). Elsevier Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(06)38004-5
Cohen GL, Garcia J, Purdie-Vaughns V, Apfel N, Brzustoski P. Recursive processes in self-affirmation: intervening to close the minority achievement gap. Science. 2009 Apr 17;324(5925):400-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1170769. PMID: 19372432.
Cascio CN, O'Donnell MB, Tinney FJ, et al. Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2016;11(4):621-629. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv136