Watch Dominic’s video or read his story below….
Enrolling in college at the age of twenty-eight was very intimidating to me. Having dropped out of high school at fifteen, I had a real problem with confidence. Even though I had a GED and was earning a decent living as a car salesman, I still doubted that I was smart enough to be successful in college.
I finally took the leap and enrolled because I want a career where I don’t have to work twelve hours a day, six days a week and never see my family. However, by the second week of the semester, I found myself falling back into old habits. I was sitting in the back of the classroom, asking what homework was due, and talking through most of the class.
Negative thoughts constantly ran through my mind: The teachers won’t like me. I can’t compete with the eighteen-year-olds right out of high school. I don’t even remember what a “verb” is. I can’t do this.
Then in my College Success class, we read Chapter 2 of On Course about becoming a Creator and disputing “stinkin’ thinkin’.” I realized I had taken on the role of the Victim almost my whole life, and I was continuing to do it now.
One day I was on my porch when I caught myself thinking my usual negative thoughts. It occurred to me that I was the only one holding me back, not the teachers, not the other students, not math, not English. If I wanted to be successful in college, I had to quit being scared. I had to change my thinking. So I made a deal with myself that any time I caught myself thinking negatively, I would rephrase the statement in a way that was more positive. I started to truly pay attention to the thoughts in my head and question the negative things I was telling myself.
After that I began sitting up front in my classes and participating more. I’ve always been kind of scattered, so I started using a calendar and a dry erase board to keep track of what I had to do.What amazes me is that I didn’t really make that big of a change, yet I finished the semester with a 4.0 average! All I did was realize that what I was saying to myself was my underlying problem.
I am responsible for my thoughts, and the choice about whether or not to succeed is mine. These days when I have a ridiculous thought going through my mind and I change it, I smile. It’s very empowering.