Always Say, “I Can!”

中文版本: 總要說:「我做得到!」

September 9, 2012

Yesterday when I was in the middle of this one student’s lesson, I felt that she was having some trouble with her playing in a piece. I commented that she was doing fine, and her response was, “No, I don’t play well.” I told her the progress had been good in this song and asked if she could do better next lesson. She replied, “No, I can’t.” I was confused. 

I asked her, “Who says you can’t ?”
She said, “No one, I say I can’t.”
“Why can’t you?” 
“I just can’t. I don’t know.”

“If you think you can’t, then you probably can’t. Because when you don’t even believe you can make it at the first place, you are not going to do something that would make things happen. You would not put full effort into what you are working on and the result would fulfill the prophecy of ‘I can’t’. 

BUT, if you do believe you can achieve it when you start working on it, then you would do something to try to match the goal and fulfill this wish whatever your desire leads you to. Try it, and say, ‘I can’.”

While I was trying to convince her with much confirmation in my eyes at the same time feeling all soaked up with emotion by my own speech inside me, my little student was still not convinced. I started to wonder why a child at such a tender age would have lost self-confidence and faith already (or she had yet to build such qualities). 

When I walked her to the door after the lesson, I reminded her, “Remember what I said? Say, ‘I can’, okay?”

She nodded half-heartedly, with an innocent smile on her lovely face.

I decided, that I must do something about it, for her and other students alike…

And yes, I can too.

Teresa Wong

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