Success and Self Esteem
This blog post is about something that’s very personal to me.
You see throughout my life, my self-esteem and belief in my ability to succeed have fluctuated.
I have achieved a Masters Level Post Graduate qualification, and a degree, but originally believed I was really stupid.
In fact, I was nicknamed ‘dozy dick’, by another child at primary school.
The problem was, that I kept missing out on what the teacher was telling the class.
I was the same in the playground, hence getting the unfortunate nickname.
It’s not that I wasn’t interested in what the teacher or the other kids were doing, it’s just that I was lost in my own creative world.
My world was a mind full of imagination, and design solutions to everyday problems.
This world was so immersive and so fascinating, that I couldn’t help but focus on what was going on inside the cinema of my mind, rather than external stimuli.
It was the late 70s and early 80s at Primary school, and I was aware of the threat of nuclear conflict.
Apparently, we would get a ‘three-minute warning’ if the Russians launched a nuclear missile at us.
Three minutes is not a lot of time, so I was determined to examine my options.
By year six, I was spending my maths lessons, sketching out my own nuclear air-raid shelter.
The shelter drawing came complete with a wiring diagram for the electric (car battery-powered) lighting system.
The location for the shelter was to be on a piece of land near my parent’s house. The land belonged to the now-defunct ‘Wells House’ Preparatory school.
The location was chosen as it was on a part of their land, that was overgrown and unused.
The only ‘problem’ with my plan to survive nuclear Armageddon, was actually two problems.
The first was the incontrovertible fact, that I could only reach my place of safety, on weekends!
You see the school was over a mile away from the shelter location, which meant that I couldn’t reach it in three minutes.
The second issue with my ingenious plan to outwit the mushroom cloud was shelter depth.
My shelter design was only a few feet under ground!
Even at Primary school, I knew that to survive a nuclear attack, the shelter needed to be deep underground, with thick concrete walls.
Mine had neither depth nor thickness, in fact the roof design was made from scrap wood, and soil.
I’m not daft, so realised it would probably not afford much protection, but at least I had prepared – #LOL.
So what has this got to do with success & self esteem you might be wondering.
Well being the type of person that sometimes finds concentration hard, I would miss out on the teachers instructions.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to listen, its just that my brain would disengage from my ears intermittently.
As a result, I wouldn’t know what we had to do in class, and would try to look like I was working, but not have a clue.
In year 6 of Primary School, we had a maths book called ‘Beta’, with a light blue cover, I never got past page 1 all year.
This might explain why I spent so many of my ‘play times’, writing lines at my desk, while the other children were outside.
I actually quite enjoyed much of my time at Primary School, but not being able to remain focused on seeing and listening to the teacher, was starting to affect my self esteem.
Secondary School Rebellion
By the time I reached Secondary School, I started to run into a new issue called homework.
Having a number of homework tasks to remember to do, was a challenge.
When I say it was a challenge, what really happened, is I would forget to do it.
It wasn’t deliberate on my part, I would just either forget to write it down, forget to read the homework diary, or not write down the correct task.
You might be reading this, and wondering how you can forget to check your homework diary, but it’s true.
My mind was into what I was into, which wasn’t school work, but cycling, inventing and experimenting with electricity.
As you can imagine, forgetting to do homework, did not go down well with 1980s school teachers.
To be continued…..