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Life is made up of moments where you’ll be faced with trying and learning new things.

In those moments, you can experience a mix of emotions. There’s positive feelings like excitement and determination, and then there’s negative feelings like doubt and fear.

It’s natural to feel negative emotions when trying something new, but it’s important to not let those feelings hold you back from getting started. If you throw in the towel before you give it a go, you’ll never grow.

Instead try to tap into those positive emotions and let them fill you up. When you do that, you’re turning on your growth mindset, and that’s how you move ahead. At the end of the day, no one ever achieved anything by telling themselves they weren’t good enough and calling it quits.

But…we get that sometimes it’s easier said than done to switch your growth mindset on and ignore those negative feelings.

One simple (but effective) way to get your head in the right space is by getting in touch with your thoughts and feelings through creating a self-awareness list.

….Sorry, what?

A self awareness list is essentially a tool to help you reflect and rationalise your thoughts into bite sized chunks. That way – you won’t feel as overwhelmed with feelings when something new comes your way.

It can help with the stuff you’re facing right now, and it can act as a compass to get through any new/scary things in the future.

To get started with your self awareness list, start by answering these questions:

  • I’m most comfortable when _____.
  • I learn best when _____.
  • It makes me uncomfortable when _____.
  • I feel like I’m really good at _____.
  • I feel the most stressed when _____.
  • The thing I need the most help with is _____.

You might be thinking, ‘Hold up – I don’t want to think about the stuff that I’m not good at. That doesn’t seem very positive’. Fair point.

But if you don’t acknowledge the things you struggle with, you’re ignoring opportunities to work on those things and improve.

You might want to write the answers down on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere obvious in your room, or write it down on your phone.

But if you don’t acknowledge the things you struggle with, you’re ignoring opportunities to work on those things and improve.

You might want to write the answers down on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere obvious in your room, or write it down on your phone.

Over time, you can keep looking back at your self awareness list so you can mentally check-in and see where you’re at. You may find that some of the things that once made you scared and stressed no longer do. Maybe you’ll find that you need to update some of your answers.

Don’t give up before you try, keep using that growth mindset!

If you’re feeling like your fears and doubts are holding you back (and you can’t get past them), reach out for help. Speak with someone you can trust like a teacher, your guidance officer, a parent or another trusted adult to get their thoughts and support.

If you need help getting started visit our support page