Is a task actually hard, or have you just convinced yourself that it is?

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Junior year me: struggling or just convinced I am?

Approaching your junior year of high school, it is constantly drilled into your head the enormous pressures of the year. Your class load will be awful, you have to take standardized tests, you must decide where to go to college, and all of this on top of the yearly responsibilities such as sports and maintaining a balanced social life. Honestly, I was set on the year being a challenge greater than I had ever encountered before I had even begun. 

Now, I wouldn’t say this year has been easier. It has been no walk in the park, an effortless endeavor for which I have simply time managed and succeeded. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t say that the year has been significantly more challenging in comparison with prior years of high school. This forces me to challenge the idea that there’s a possibility junior year may not be the threat so many propose it to be, and simply have built it up in our minds. Is the year the entire challenge, or is part of it created by anticipation of a preconception? Has my mind simply convinced me of the challenge? 

This comes back to the mind, and one’s intention behind a task or experience once they have begun it. Action has no meaning until you put one mentally behind it to back it.”

This comes back to the mind and one’s intention behind a task or experience once they have begun. Action has no meaning until you put one mentally behind it to back it. With no emotional backdrop to an action or anticipation of what it might entail, we can make no assumption as to the difficulty it may propose. Referencing back to the stigma behind junior year of high school, you may look at it like this: if you have no preconception that junior year is harder than other years, you have no reason to believe that until it is proven to you. This is sort of like the phrase “mind over matter,” which is simple and thrown about but, albeit, true. Convincing yourself that a task is simple truly can work to simplify a task. 

Your thoughts have a direct impact on your actions. As a high schooler, I take little time to reflect on my mind, and how it works, especially its various impacts on the course of my mood and success, however, I have begun to see an increasing need for this reflection in my life. For example, as a soccer player of 12 years, you begin to recognize teams and individuals as stars in the surrounding communities. When I play these people and teams, I allow myself to be discouraged and think I have already failed, thus feeling discouraged and in return, lacking in effort. This inevitably leads me to play worse because it enforces the idea that they are better.

When I think about my junior year, again, I wouldn’t say it has been easy. Yet, I wonder how much of the challenge has come from years of my older friend telling me how awful and draining it is, and from the preconceived notion that I won’t succeed.