The Two Voices Within

A college student is looking for something.
A college student is looking for something. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Bob Roth

Within every college student resides two voices.

The voices are the internal self-talk that can provide encouragement, give us feedback about our performance, help us evaluate problems, warn us about danger, give us courage or poke holes in our hopes and dreams and hold us back from reaching our goals.

The Voice of Confidence

The voice of confidence builds us up, tells us that we are doing a good job, makes us feel good about ourselves and helps us reach our potential. It recognizes our strengths and capabilities and encourages us to do our best and try our hardest.

This voice reminds us that we have the capability and potential to make a difference. It is a supportive voice and a positive voice that wants us to be successful. When self-confidence speaks to us, we believe that our actions will be successful and our results will be good.

The Voice of Self-Doubt

When the voice of self-doubt speaks to us, it points out our weaknesses and flaws. It tears down our confidence, causes us to be fearful, makes us feel bad about ourselves and takes away our power. It discourages us from taking action and speaking up.

This voice holds us back from trying, experimenting and learning more about our underutilized capabilities. Self-doubt puts only negative thoughts in our heads, tells us that what we are doing is not good enough and what we hope to do will probably fail.

There is a real and constant battle raging within every one of us. The clash between the two voices has gone on for years. Your internal voices can propel you forward, keep you where you are or cause you to pull back or even retreat.

The back and forth between these two can cause confusion and anxiety. That is why every one of us will eventually make a choice. We want the conflict to go away.

The decision you make will follow you for the rest of your life. It predicts your actions, your direction, your results and the degree of success you are likely to achieve. Weigh the factors carefully before you choose.

Do you want to be a leader, a communicator, a decision maker, a problem solver and a person of influence? Or, would you prefer to follow the lead of others, wait to be told what to do and not stand out in any way? If you hope to make a major impact or be recognized for your contributions, the choice should be clear.

"Within every student is the need to be something great."

In the end, each student must address the question that requires a personal answer, "Which voice will win out?" Although the people around us may push us in one direction or another, nobody else can make our final decision. Some students have already made their decisions. We see it in their actions and hear it in their words. Other students are yet to decide.

Regardless of their decision, the answer to this important question is the same for everyone. The voice that will win out is the one to which you listen. And so, the real question is whether you will choose to listen to the voice of confidence or the voice of self-doubt? The decision is yours.

Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of four books: The College Student's Companion, College Success: Advice for Parents of High School and College Students, The College Student's Guide To Landing A Great Job -and- The 4 Realities Of Success During and After College.

Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Identification Machine™, a system that colleges use to identify thousands of employment opportunities for students.

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