The biggest problem that plagues most students that struggle with math is that they believe they are not good at math and that they will fail the course. They have had previous experiences where they struggled in class, failed a previous course, never understood their teacher, never could figure out their homework, or were chosen for the slower math class and they allow they previous experiences to effect their current thinking. They now perceive that everything that has happened before is true for the rest of their life and that there is no way for them to change it or get better at it.
The most common response I get from people when I tell them I am a math teacher is “oh I am horrible in math” or “I hated math when I was younger”. Well guess what? They are all right! If you believe you are bad at math then there is very little chance you will ever become good at math. This thinking stems from what the mind believes the body will achieve. If you are thinking you are bad at math, or will always be bad at math, then stop it. Stop it right now. That is if you ever wish to be anything else than bad at math. All you are doing is telling yourself what to be and what patterns follow. By telling yourself all of this, what do you think your brain wants to follow Cours particuliers Maths.
Let us look at a non math example two clarify my point. Two weight lifters are in a power lifting competition, they are the last to competitors left. You are interviewing them before they are about to compete for who can lift the next weight above their head. They have both previously failed to lift this weight in other competitions and to win the competition today one of them will have to do it. Both of the athletes are exhausted and of equal size and muscle mass. The first athlete tells you that he can lift the weight over his head with utter confidence, he keeps saying to himself: I can do it, I can do it, and he is so convinced he makes you feel like he has already lifted the weight above his head. You are barely able to get an interview with the guy because he is so pumped to lift the weight. So you turn your attention to the other competitor. He tells you he does not think he can lift the weight because he has never done it before. He has had a long day and is not at he is not his best right now. The weight is heavy and his arms are tired. He wants to do it though because he wants to win but he knows how hard it will be. You go back to your seat in the audience and someone asks behind you who do you think will lift the weight above their head?
Did I make this example to easy to understand? Of course the person with confidence in themselves you are going to put your own confidence in. Hopefully you understand what handicap you are putting yourself in when you say you are bad at math or can’t do something. Those words and phrases are diseases preventing you from what you really want. We really don’t know who could or will actually lift the weight over their head but we can definitely decide who has the best chance at it just by knowing their mindset.
There is no reason to tell ourselves anything we don’t want to have done or for us to become. If you want to become rich, tell yourself that. If you want to finish a marathon tell yourself you will finish the marathon. Talking like this alone does not garner your ends but it will change your mindset and the means you need to achieve what you want. By doing this you are more likely to get what you want. If you need to be better at math you need to get yourself in that mindset. Tell yourself you can do it, there is nothing you can’t understand and that you can solve any problem given to you. No matter what challenges you have had before you are going to have to have more and more of them of them in your life so get used to it.
Your mindset is what is going to pave your way for you to overcome your obstacles in math and especially in life. When you fail a test, don’t understand what your teacher has just taught, or even failed a course, make sure you stay positive, believe that you can do it, rise above any struggle thrown your way. In my own life I have seen a 0% on a quiz. I have failed a course before. I have gone home and wondered what just happened that hour I was in math class. I have spent hours trying to figure out how to solve ONE math problem. I would not be where I am today if I took those failures and let them get the best of me. You have to look at each failure as an opportunity to improve yourself and get stronger. Lift your head up get positive and let us tackle this giant we have in front of us.