The way we come across mainstream language shapes how teenagers see the world. This phase of challenging the process includes challenging the language around powerful words like, “dreams,” “obstacles,” “how would people describe you?”
It all sounds harmless, but if we were to deconstruct it, we could be amazed at how disempowering it actually is. It implies that your goals are sitting somewhere out there and you need time to get to them and that the journey there is full of obstacles and challenges you need to overcome. It is more productive to actually focus on the fact that dreams are not actual results or moments, they are a culmination of little steps that include research, dedication, practice, talking to the right people, and that the part that actually gives us “happiness” is this process, not the result. It is all about being in the flow. The result is shortly followed by a down period where we reinvent ourselves and set out a new goal, and so it goes.
Sometimes, this process of ups and downs can be seen as discouraged or being in a “funk.” If this is explained properly, teens will understand that these ups and downs are natural for the creative process, not slumps in their life. Teens tend to look at the future being so far away, almost helpless at what they can do now to get themselves there faster. They set arbitrary timelines. Challenging the process is a difficult stage in this process as they are asked to challenge not only the language they use, but the timelines they have set, along with the steps they need to take. Once they have a handle over how to challenge these models, they begin to feel empowered and in control. Stay tuned!