Trust is part of the learning process

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Photo Courtesy of Edward Biagiotti Teaching our students to trust the process is an important part of learning. Jorge Rivera is an Instructional Assistant at Linwood E. Howe Elementary.

“Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock

Life can feel overwhelming.  Even when we take the steps to get organized for success, it can be a bit rocky.  I felt flustered this week as family, work, and creative pursuits seemed like more than I could handle. I had to pause and remember that I do not have to take drastic action when I feel stressed.  I reminded myself that there is value in continuing to move forward, a step at a time, while trusting that it is all going to turn out right.

Over the years I have learned that being in control is overrated.  It is often the things that I do to maintain some illusion of control that are actually getting in the way of the results I desire.  It might be hiding my feelings, working too hard because I am afraid I will fail, or any other behavior I engage in to avoid admitting that I am simply not in control.  I see this with the students that I work with.  The most sensitive kids will put on false faces, even acting like a bully toward others, just to hide their sensitivity.  Being sensitive is not something we can control, like any aspect of our being that is a healthy part of who we are.  Being sensitive is something that we must accept, and then learn to see the gifts that accompany the challenges.

This is true for people who are naturally loud, and people who are naturally quiet.  There is a wisdom to these qualities that must be discovered and trusted so that we can experience the very best in life.  Sometimes that means that we must trust in the fact that behind every mystery there is an answer waiting to be uncovered.  It is true for the little situations that we encounter throughout our day.  Being stuck in traffic, for example, can seem like a very negative thing.  However, if we are willing to relax and open to the possibility that something good might actually come from being held up, we are likely to find silver linings that we might have missed had we remained in a negative state of mind.

Trusting in who we are, and what is going on around us, is an art.  It requires us to pay attention to the way we are feeling.  We must discern whether or not what we are thinking is leading us in the direction we want to go.  I have a friend who always reminds me to check the facts whenever I am feeling panicked.  Fear flourishes when we are unwilling to look at what is going on.  Teaching students the value of sitting down to reflect on their situations has proven to be a valuable tool.  By checking in with their own minds they are able to choose new outlooks, and new approaches to situations that once equaled fear and failure.  There is a point when we must trust that a new outcome will come about from our new choices.  We live on faith until the results arrive and we can see that what we are doing is working.

I worked with a student who was in a very challenging situation.  There were many cards stacked against him.  Along with our daily academic sessions, I regularly reminded him to remain open to new possibilities and positive outcomes.  To be honest, I was not even sure I believed what I was saying at the time.  The amazing part is that this young man took my suggestions.  He continued working and was able to graduate.  He has gone on to be a successful contractor.  He serves as inspiration to trust in life when I am faced with my own challenging situations.

I suggest you take a look at your current situation.  Is there something going on that is scaring you because you feel out of control?  Take a moment to breathe and check the facts.  Make a list of the things that are going well for you.  Remind yourself that you do not have to know all the answers.  Experiment with the idea that life is waiting to surprise you with something better than expected if you are willing to put down your guard and trust that life is working in your favor.  You are likely to find that whatever good you seek is also seeking you.

Edward Biagiotti is the Inclusion Specialist for Culver City Unified School District.  He is also co-host of the popular radio show, Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed, live each week, Wednesdays  at 3 pm on www.UnityOnlineRadio.org.  Visit www.TappingIntoGenius.com for more articles and a free, inspirational parenting download.

Trust is part of the learning process