5 Ways to Wellbeing

#KeepLearning – Thoughts by Tracy Gill

As a child I didn’t really enjoy school.  I felt I wasn’t good enough.  My report cards always said “Tracy can do better” or “Tracy is average”, and this didn’t inspire me to try and do better, it just demotivated me and made me feel inadequate.  I could not wait to leave school and put education behind me.  Learning was finally over for me, I would never have to be in a classroom again, wonderful!

I loved my first job as a travel agent and put all my efforts into it.  I was able to learn quickly ‘on the job’, without the feelings I’d had at school.  I did the best I could in each role I was given, discovering new things along the way (alongside bringing up four children!)

When I first started my new job with the Newcastleton Community Outreach Team, I was excited about many things; being part of something new in the community, getting to meet new people, being there to listen to others, offering practical help, and of course learning new skills.  As part of this new position I had a wonderful opportunity to train as a counsellor with COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland) on a Monday night, via Zoom.  Now, although this is something I longed to do, all those schoolgirl feelings poured back into me.  Was I good enough?  What if I get it wrong?  What if I can’t do it?  Will they like me?  … I was fearful, or if I am really honest, a little bit petrified!  I am quite a positive person and like encourage people to believe in themselves… so it is not normally me who has these fears and doubts! But they were nevertheless creeping back into my mind.

So how did it go?   Well, I didn’t mind the actual lessons or the practical sessions, when we had to listen/counsel to each other in front of the tutor, I actually quite enjoyed this.  Getting to know new people was great, even if it was all on Zoom and not in person; there is still a feeling of connection and enjoyment from learning together, making mistakes and overcoming the difficulties.  I found myself really looking forward to each week.  We could all see the progress we were making as the weeks went on. We were in this together. But I was still quite nervous about the written assessment I had to complete for the end of Module 1!

I had to write an essay!

On my own!

Guess what?

I wrote the essay and it really wasn’t that bad.  I received good feedback and passed Module 1.  All those fears and self-doubts from childhood, were conquered.  But I had a try to discover this about myself (and there are 3 more modules to go!)

Why am I telling you all this?  Because learning is good, it is good for your soul, it is good for your health.  You are never too old to learn new things.  Even if you have doubts and fears about yourself and your ability, give it a try.  I feel energised each Monday night, I can’t sleep because the course is running through my mind and I am buzzing.  It has given me new friends and renewed confidence.  I am enjoying learning, once again.  Don’t be afraid to face your fears and try something new, you may just love it.

Tracy is one of the Community Outreach Team, read more about her here