Judge Your Own Capabilities

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"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while other judge us by what we have already done". - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I can really identify with the meaning of this quote.  To be judged by others for what we have done in our past can be positive or negative.  We judge ourselves by what we have accomplished in life or by what we feel capable of accomplishing.  This can motivate us to try harder or to not try at all.  We learn from our past what to expect from ourselves and what others can expect from us.   When our past is filled with repeated attempts to achieve success that end up in failure we find ourselves unsure or unaware of our capabilities and consequently may cause others to make false assumptions and unfairly judge us.

In many ways this quote relates to my experiencing failure in school.   My failure in school didn't begin until the 7th grade, prior to that I had only experienced success in school.  I was a good student making A's, B's, and very few C's.  When I changed to public school for 7th grade my life would never be as it once was.  It's ironic that I wasn't judged by my past success in school, that fact went unnoticed when I began having trouble finishing or starting assignments.  I was embarrassed and confused when I didn't understand the material being taught in class, I didn't understand the assignments the way my classmates seemed to and I  began to think that I must be really dumb.  I didn't want the kids at my new school to laugh at me or find out how dumb I was  when I couldn't complete my work.  I thought my teacher's knew I was dumb and didn't want to waste their time trying to teach me.  When my teacher told the class she thought I had so much potential but was choosing purposely not to do the work I thought it sounded like a good excuse to avoid telling the class how dumb I was.   The teacher's would write me referrals to the office for non-compliance or class disruption which I welcomed because it got me out of...
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