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View Full Version : Best ways to survive in a competitive society



Shadow12345
09-05-2002, 12:13 PM
We live in a competitive society. Whether you live in the United States or in Europe or elsewhere you have probably felt at least some degree (if not a whole lot of) competition in your lifetime. Right now I am taking some very hard classes, and I must admit I am not grasping all of the material, and it takes me a long time for me to grasp what i can (for example Honors Chemistry and Honors math). I'm in 11th grade so there is a lot of emphasis on performing well (for college and the SATs and what not). I have been trying to "effectively not care" about how I do. This doesn't mean that I don't care how I do!!!! This just means that I try to tell myself rational things like "Okay, now I know I might not do too well in this class, and if I don't do well that is more or less all right because I am not a bad person for not doing well". or "If I do poorly and am embarassed that is not the end of the world. Much worse things could happen". However I am usually so incredibly anxious that I can't think because i am so worried about how well I perform. I have anxiety about raising my hand even when I am fairly certain of the answer, just because there is a chance I might not get it correct. I have been trying to practice REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) for some time now. It has worked quite well for quite some time (especially with learning programming). Now that school has started and I am taking difficult courses I am having trouble staying rational and hanging in there when things get rough. I would like all of your opinions, and I am going to attach some sort of a poll so people can vote on how to survive in a competitive society.

Cruxus
09-05-2002, 12:25 PM
In my opinion, you need to do more than rationalize; you need to think positively and feel confident that you will do well. High school can be a very stressful time, but staying calm will help you in the long run. The stress seems to be taking a toll on you, so maybe it would be best to see a psychiatrist (no offense intended); trying to fix the problem yourself is somewhat akin to performing surgery on yourself. Thinking to yourself that you do not care could lead to real apathy and even depression, I would guess.

Shadow12345
09-05-2002, 12:26 PM
EDIT:

I was hoping that people wouldn't just vote, that they would share how they have dealt with difficult situations in their lifetimes.

Shadow12345
09-05-2002, 12:35 PM
I agree totally, especially with the part about seeing professional help. I have tried in the past to continue seeing help (I visited a psyciatrist twice after a school incident). My father is a therapist and he tries helping me too, but it is weird working with him like that.

The whole confidence part seems to be my biggest problem. How exactly can I learn to be confident? I don't get it. I mean isnt' confidence conditional? Doesn't it depend on how well you are performing? I just don't get how I can be confident when I don't feel confident.

Eibro
09-05-2002, 01:21 PM
I'm also in grade 11, today was my first day.. I'm taking advanced chemistry and physics, and advanced math 12. I can't really relate to you, i've never had a problem with confidence.

What do you think when someone else answers a question? Do you say to yourself "what a dumbass"? Probably not, at least I don't. Whenever I need confidence, I look at the insiginificance of a certain situation. Even if you get it wrong/do bad, it doesn't matter much in the long run. If it will matter in the long run, it WILL be a siginificant part of your entire life... just think about all the other people who have done it, think about how much better than them you are.

If no one else has done it... well think about how courageous you'll look even if you do fail. :) The most you can do is try... I find I do a lot better in situations if I keep telling myself how easy it will be. (Whilst still assessing what really needs to be done to complete a task)

Shadow12345
09-05-2002, 01:33 PM
I don't know what to say except that I am trying to figure outhow to accomplish having a higher level of confidence.

edit

I don't want anyone to be better than anyone else. I guess I am just afraid of looking like a d u m b a s s in class, that's what I'm afraid of.

DISGUISED
09-05-2002, 01:35 PM
IMO, the more successful you are the more confident you become. Work hard, and you will do well. If you are having trouble don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for extra help outside of class. That's what your teachers are there for. That is what they are paid to do.

Competition can be good. I compete with my friends in school all the time. We push eachother to do better and I must admit, it helps me to stay focused.

- Good Luck

Govtcheez
09-05-2002, 01:35 PM
I did that by putting myself in a situation where I was uncomfortable. Things like that usually aren't as bad as they seem.

CoderBob
09-05-2002, 01:45 PM
A few things to keep in mind:
1) The worst thing you can do to yourself is lack confidence. Given time and careful thought, you can probably understand almost any problem. There is a logical explanation, even if you don't immediately see it -- and that's not a bad thing; it just means your specialty may not be the field you're taking a class in.

Be confident that everything is understandable; have faith in the concept of the human mind. You don't have to be confident only in yourself; in fact, it's probably best not to be so isolationist. If you believe everyone possesses the ability to do something, and you know you're part of "everyone", you know you have the ability to do it. You can tell yourself that you need to get in the right frame of mind, that you're not performing well because you're worried, or that the stress is eating away at you. As long as you avoid assigning blame, but merely keep in mind factors contributing to your problems, you will, I think, be better able to cope with them.

2) Think about how to think. If you think about why you had trouble understanding something, you'll learn a lot about how to help yourself understand the next concept. The more you concentrate on why you didn't understand something, the better you'll get at understanding, and it will probably help you with the concept you once had trouble with. Thinking about how you think might also help distract you from the competition around you. Place yourself above it: work on things that others aren't even thinking about.

3) Just because others seem to undestand better, don't assume they do. You might have a deeper understanding of material than others, but you might be selling yourself short. If you see a flaw in an explanation, it might be best for you to simply accept the flaw and move on, rather than delving deeply into it -- keep it in mind, but don't get too hung up on the details.

These are things that help me; I don't know if they'll work for you. I hope they, or something else, does.

In the end, separate yourself from the competition; don't let yourself worry about how others do or about how others expect you to do. Don't 'not care' -- rather, choose to care about what you really want to care about.

I once had a math teacher who was talking to a friend; the friend said she'd given up math because she found it hard in college. My math teacher replied that she must have had a bad teacher because math is something that can always be broken down into easily explainable steps. If you're having trouble, it might not be a bad teacher, but try to remember that it can be explained, and don't give up trying to figure out that explanation.

Eibro
09-05-2002, 01:49 PM
I don't want anyone to be better than anyone else. I guess I am just afraid of looking like a d u m b a s s in class, that's what I'm afraid of.
I find people look like even bigger dumbasses if they just sit there and never say anything. So what if you get a few wrong or a few right? If someone decides to judge you based on the outcome, I would look at them as the moron.

BMJ
09-05-2002, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by Eibro
I find people look like even bigger dumbasses if they just sit there and never say anything.How very true

Shadow12345
09-05-2002, 02:22 PM
Lol you guys are awesome. I feel more confident already. If I keep rehearsing these things to myself I hope they will become second nature and I can enjoy school more.

Nick
09-05-2002, 03:46 PM
I have anxiety about raising my hand even when I am fairly certain of the answer


Try practicing and reading proofs. This is one of the best way to turn unconfidence into healthy skepticalism.

Shadow12345
09-05-2002, 03:58 PM
what do you mean try practicing and reading proofs?

golfinguy4
09-05-2002, 04:08 PM
Just relax. Seriously, if you are worried, you will only do worse. Since school is more difficult than riding a bike, you shouldn't care. You should care about how you do, but don't actually tell yourself you do. In psych, I learned that the more difficult the task, the less motivation you want to have. However, once you totally don't care, then you do bad.

Troll_King
09-05-2002, 04:13 PM
You should attempt to understand yourself. This takes some time. People are unique individuals and only you can know yourself better than anyone else can know you or what you should do or how you should behave. In time you will discover ways to deal with stress, whether those ways are utilitarian or not.

You have lots of time and planning will get help you get ahead faster. One thing to remember is that the bottom line strategy to get out of a problem is to establish a routine and get appropriate sleep. Personally I abstain from sex (even looking at naked women online) as much as possible because it helps me deal with stress (I often fail in this regard though). There are times though that I don't worry about stress.

Once you become educated, there are less answers, because you need to take action and become autonomous. One of the most difficult things to deal with is freedom.

Clyde
09-05-2002, 04:24 PM
"Personally I abstain from sex (even looking at naked women online) as much as possible because it helps me deal with stress "

Regular sex (3-4 times a week) has been shown to boost the immune system and DECREASE overall stress.

Interestingly too much sex (more than 3-4 times a week) nullifies the bonus for the immune system i am uncertain of its effects on stress.

Atleast that applies to the populace at large i suppose its plausable that you have some psychological issues connected that cause you stress, however i would suggest if that is the case, to get some form of therapy rather than simply cutting it out of your life.

"Once you become educated, there are less answers"

...... There are not less answers, though there are certainly a great deal more questions.

Troll_King
09-05-2002, 04:26 PM
Do you think that I can just put on a diaper instead of going to the doctor, will that work for me?

Troll_King
09-05-2002, 04:30 PM
Actually I typically abstain from sex for 4 or 5 months at a time.

Nick
09-05-2002, 06:14 PM
Ignore Troll King since well he's Troll King and Clyde he's one
of the ghost from pacman :)

If your doing first year calculus I wouldn't worry about it too much.
What I meant was say for example your book says
the derivative of a sum is the sum of the derivatives. Since
a derivative is a limit, the limit of a sum is the sum of limits.
You could go even further and prove that the sum of limits
is the sum of the limits. This proof is a little more intricate since
you have to use the definition of a limit. The main point
is that if you can't create a proof, short explanation or picture showing why something is true it will be harder to accept
or memorize it.

ygfperson
09-05-2002, 06:16 PM
remember: in a classroom enviroment, you are there to learn! if you feel stupid it is because you haven't been taught yet... ;)

i'm in ap calculus now, and i'm not too stressed. (it being only day 4 of school might help some.) my biggest problems with school are more on the lack of freedom given to students. it would be nice to just take a walk up and down the sidewalk during our 20 minute lunch period...

*getting back on topic*
just enjoy your life. realize that you are privileged to be in this country getting a free education. leave the stress for the people who can't find jobs, or the people piled in debt, or the criminals in jail for many years, or the drunk drivers who have killed people by accident ...



Regular sex (3-4 times a week) has been shown to boost the immune system and DECREASE overall stress.
i agree. however, being a high school senior, sex is difficult to find. (or at least less difficult than college... :D)


Actually I typically abstain from sex for 4 or 5 months at a time.
ouch.
:rolleyes:

Shadow12345
09-05-2002, 06:33 PM
Yes the sex thing isn't too easy to find. Yes I ignored Troll King. Yes I shouldn't worry about feeling stupid and feeling stress. The perspective you put things in ygf is perfect. Schoo isn't a serious situation, and that is how I have been treating it. Well it IS something that shouldn't be taken lightly, I have to care at least somewhat, enough to actually learn, but I am NOT in jail, I am NOT in debt, and I am NOT looking for a job. I will remember that next time I doubt myself :) To tell you people the truth this is a lot like a therapy session, the only real difference is the fact that I am not talking to you in person. As a side note, if I post questions specific to homework are the moderators going to delete it? I dont' think they would delete it...I hope they wouldn't delete it.

Jet_Master
09-08-2002, 04:03 PM
here's something i found, [NOTE: I do not recommend it or support the idea]

"When all else fails, f*** the world and smoke some weed!"

ygfperson
09-08-2002, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by Shadow12345
As a side note, if I post questions specific to homework are the moderators going to delete it? I dont' think they would delete it...I hope they wouldn't delete it.
it depends. we don't tolerate people who don't show some effort at their problem. don't ask for answers, either.

i doubt we delete that kind of thing. the thread is either closed or moved to the deleted post archive to be forgotten about (or very improbably, to be resurrected).

however, we welcome questions which ask for a better understanding of the problem.