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The motto that I am living by is something RuPaul excellently describes regarding overcoming your inner saboteur and how to acknowledge your negative voices without succumbing to their control: "You can look, but don't stare."

I never felt that I was good enough from my early years. I was a child that frequently struggled in school. No matter how much I put my heart and soul into projects or homework, I felt constantly knocked down and wondered: "What's wrong with me? Why can't I get this?" In 2013, after numerous days of testing, an answer finally revealed itself: I had a learning disability. Even though I had an explanation, the school struggles did not cease. Soon, I became regularly angry as I would clutch a report card full of C's; at the same time, my friends showed off theirs, complete with A's. Situations like this made me doubt my abilities further, and soon the hesitation started bleeding into my work life.

When I began working, my self-doubt became overwhelming. I constantly battled with poisonous thoughts of how I wasn't good enough and destined to fail. This thinking led to many work errors, which sent my brain into a frenzy. To put it simply: I had no confidence in myself.

A mix of excitement and dread came over me when I was notified that I was accepted into the Knowledge Network Co-op. Unfortunately, my inner saboteur began bubbling up again, and soon I felt miserable. I became sure I was going to butcher the fantastic opportunity I had been given because of my learning disability and self-doubt.

Well, how the turntables...... - Michael Scott

gif of 3 people in an office, one man crosses his arms, text on screen reads "wow, wow, wow, how the turntables"
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BRONLIKEGOAT on Bleacher Report

"You're the fastest learner we've ever had here,” a compliment bestowed upon me from my supervisor during our-midterm check-in. At that moment, I felt that every hardship I had gone through, whether in school or working, had melted away. I was a new person, with a new job and a new attitude that had been recognized for something that I had never thought in my wildest dreams would be noticed.

Working at Knowledge as a Brand Marketing Intern is incredibly affirming; working with social media has allowed me to focus on my strength of being creative. Finally, I feel that my saboteur's loud voice has quieted due to my work habits and efforts. The new environment I explore through social media platforms is eye-opening. I explore strengths I never knew I had, such as copywriting for advertisements or posts. My talents are in writing and creative expression rather than calculating Linear Algebra or memorizing the beginning of the First World War.... and that's okay!

The lesson I learned most about working at Knowledge is that it is genuinely comforting knowing you're on the correct path when you find something you're good at. Another lesson was that it's okay to make mistakes. Not everything will be perfect the first time; it doesn't mean you're not good; it's just maybe looking at a different way of approaching the situation. Approaches that have helped me have been to take care of my mental health by seeking therapy and reminding myself of small achievements I've accomplished, like getting up and making my bed or even having a good hair day.

My saboteur occasionally still rears its ugly head. To this day, I'm attempting to remind myself of my successes rather than my failures. Still, it takes time to focus on the good rather than the negative. I try to stop letting my fears hinder me and accept that I live with a learning disability, but that does not define every aspect of what I do. I've embraced it as a part of who I am, but it only takes up one small part of the rest of the mosaic I call Eden.

The motto that I am living by is something RuPaul excellently describes regarding overcoming your inner saboteur and how to acknowledge your negative voices without succumbing to their control: "You can look, but don't stare."

gif of a someone saying "can I get an amen up here".
Credit
@rupaulsdragrace on Giphy
SFU Student Undergraduate
Co-operative Education

Posts by Author

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So, You Finished Co-op: A Letter to Myself

As the C&M team has been (lovingly) reminding me, the sand in my hourglass is running out. And be it the sentimental self-reflector in me, I want nothing more than to sit down with my pre-Co-op-self and tell her about all of the spectacular things that are about to come her way.

Me on the right talking with one of my peers about the Burnaby Mountain gondola! I was enthusiastic about the project and engaging with the public.
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What IS public relations? My Co-op experience with SFU Communications and Marketing

“What is public relations?" This question feels as vague as someone asking me what majoring in Communications studies leads to. I admit that I want to pursue a career path in this industry, but I have repeatedly asked myself this question throughout my academics. In my search to find out, my experience working as a Communications Assistant in SFU’s Communications and Marketing office has given me a clearer picture of public relations.

Three people behind a desk writing notes next to a Life Sciences BC billboard
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What I Learned About Personal Values During My First Co-op Work Term

Your Co-op seeking term is full of opportunities. But without an idea of what you’re looking for, it can be overwhelming. As a newcomer to the communications field, I spent my first seeking term sifting through job after job like a deer in headlights, not knowing what to look for and where to look for it. Continue reading to learn how working with a company that shares my values enhanced my co-op experience.

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author, courtney, smiling
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Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

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Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

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Audrey Heath posing in front of a red mosaic
Communicating Indigenous Narratives

As the Communications Program Assistant at the Indigenous Student Centre at SFU it is my job to create content to share with students that not only promote our programs, but foster community. Read more to find out how it went!

the author with her colleagues during work
Why Work At a Start-Up? My Co-op Term at Tradable Bits

After doing a co-op for a start-up, Margaret Leong shares 6 reasons why you should do it too! Read the article and find out why working at a start-up can be so rewarding. 

convocation ceremnony; students are walking down the steps of the AQ on SFU Burnaby Campus led by a bagpiper
David Skerik: A Co-op Student's Success Story

David Skerik's time as an undergraduate political science student could be described as the ultimate balancing act. The end result of achieving this balance was exceptional grades, a busy family life and valuable co-op work term experiences that allowed him to participate in important work for Canada's First Nations communities.