Working as a teacher I get to make decisions regarding student performance on a daily basis. I assign grades to work, and then rank students in order of academic excellence.

  • A students are the cream of the crop – intellectually superior to their peers.
  • C students grasp the coursework to a satisfactory level and do enough to pass.
  • E students are either incapable of completing the work or haven’t tried their hardest yet.

I am most interested in the thought process of those who haven’t tried yet. My E students. I ask them a number of questions to learn about their thinking. Often times hidden behind the “I don’t give a damn” attitude is a lack of confidence combined with a fear of failure.

Even though our attitudes as adults are generally pretty positive, this doesn’t mean we are immune from self sabotage.

Spend a moment taking inventory of all the skills you hope to develop and haven’t started working on yet. Specifically your skills that sit at an E level that you hope to improve.

Consider the upside of starting the work: you have the greatest room to grow. You can move from an E to a D with little effort, and you only might need to develop the skill to a C standard to accomplish your goal.

Remove (or accept) the obstacle to trying, and put a plan in place to learn something useful. You may be surprised at just how easy the task was once you get started.


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