BE CHALLENGED: The Power of Positivity
This month, we’re focusing on four powerful ways we can make the most of the hour we spend with the students we mentor. One hour a week one-on-one with a student may not sound like much, but it’s a worthwhile investment of time. And, if you make the most of it, it truly is powerful. As mentors, we simply cannot underestimate the powerful influence we can have in students’ lives through things like our presence and play.
This week, we want to take a minute to talk about the power of positivity. When we bring positivity into our mentoring relationships, we bring more than just a smile.
We bring joy. Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is dependent on our circumstances. Whereas, joy is dependent on our attitude in the midst of our circumstances. When we bring a little joy into a student’s life, it doesn’t mean that we ignore or minimize whatever hard things they may be going through. We can teach/model what it means to choose joy by helping them see the bigger picture and look at the positives instead of choosing to focus on the negatives.
We bring encouragement. Think of the value a word of encouragement or a positive comment has had for you. Just as we need people in our lives to encourage us, our students need us to bring encouragement to them. It may be in the form of a spoken word, or a handwritten note, or even a random Woods’ Coffee drink. The point is encouragement is a powerful way to bring a little positivity into a student’s life.
We bring hope. Studies show that the number of students who struggle with anxiety continues to increase. Stress is a common feeling among this generation. And, it’s easy for some students to live their daily lives under the weight of it all. Even the most well-adjusted students face the temptation to give in to hopelessness, fear, and doubt. As mentors, we can bring hope to our mentoring relationships by helping our students learn to deal with anxiety and stress in a positive way.
However, you end up incorporating positivity into your mentoring relationships, don’t underestimate the value it can bring as you seek to make a lasting impact.
Together, we can make a difference in students’ lives today, and a powerful investment in our communities that will last for years to come. Check back next week for another powerful way we can make the most of the hour we spend with the students we mentor.
Jason Matthews is a youth pastor in Washington State, where he’s been serving students for over 20 years. When he doesn’t have to be in the office, he loves to be outside with his family, hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest. He also loves to network with other youth workers.