Can Positive Psychology help teenagers? That was the question I posed to my guest blogger, Jada Yarbough. I had the opportunity of review a Positive Psychology project Jada created and I was impressed with her thinking. I know you will enjoy her experience and real-life application of Positive Psychology.
Benefits of Positive Psychology in Teenagers Lives
As a high school senior of an all-girl school, I have personally experienced and witnessed some of the many benefits of positive psychology in teenagers’ lives. One of the tools I have used successfully is positive re-framing – transforming negative fears into positive thoughts to seed the potential success.
Teens today deal with many issues. A major problem is a fear of failing. Having a fear of failure is a tremendous concern as it can lead to a plethora of problems such as a lack of confidence, lack of motivation and lack of productivity.
One obstacle my friends and I faced this year was the very stressful and anxiety filled college process. All throughout high school we felt as though we had to have near perfect grades, club participation etc. in order to make the best appearance for colleges. Many of my classmates became stressed when thinking about the great competition of college acceptances. One friend stated that she was very unsure of herself and questioned if she would be accepted into any of the colleges she applied to. She was pleasantly surprised when she received her acceptance letters in the mail.
I personally became very discouraged to enter various scholarship essays because I felt that the odds were against me. I was so fearful that my entries for these scholarships would simply get lost in the crowd, because there is such a great competition, that I simply did not enter. As I now reflect on the experience, considering the scholarships from schools I did receive, I wished that I had the courage to apply for more. I have learned from this situation that I should have more confidence in my capabilities and that I should not allow the fear of failing to reach my goal discourage me from attempting in the future.
Teens are often burdened with the belief that they must be perfect in order to succeed – possess perfect grades, having great participation in activities, and make the perfect impression. Having such impossibly high expectations leads to believing one is worthless or a failure when they are not able to reach these set standards. Approaching life with positive thinking is a great tool to combat the fear of failure and the many issues that it can cause. When a person has a more positive outlook and sets goals to reach their highest potential, instead of an illusion of perfection, one’s attitude about herself is morphed. She is able to see herself as a human with flaws instead of a disappointment and her shortcomings as one step closer to her goal, rather than considering it a complete failure. With this attitude she is encouraged to continue her effort and learn from the experiences in order to reach success.
My ultimate goal is to lead a successful life. Success to me means to be happy and feel fulfilled. In order for me to be fulfilled I wish to have a career or be working towards a career that really helps others in a positive way and brings light to others. Positive psychology is important to me because it promotes a lifestyle where one’s true happiness is activated through positive thoughts and actions.
My name is Jada Yarbough and I am soon to be a college student at Rutgers University. I had a great interest in learning about Psychology and decided to take an Advanced Placement Psychology class my junior year of high school. I absolutely fell in love with the subject. Besides my love of Psychology I have a great passion for writing and the arts overall. I always knew that I desired a career that enabled me to truly help others and allowed me to infuse my passions in my work, in order for me to feel fulfilled and happy. My goal is to become a psychologist in the future and intertwine the arts into my therapy methods in order to best help my clients. In all it is very important for to feel I am making a difference in the lives of others.