I received a "C" on my paper and my mind is telling me that I suck. Help!


Dear Kind Soul-

Would it be safe to say that you struggle with perfectionism? If you are the type of individual who usually receives As on papers, I can understand why you would be upset about a C. It is okay to feel frustration or sadness or anger. Feel the feeling.

What is obviously disadvantageous is your mind telling you that you suck. As our thoughts are linked to our emotions and behaviors, I can imagine that if you continue to tell yourself this, you will feel increasingly depressed, and you may begin to isolate from others or become snappy. 

The quick solution to this problem is to reframe your thought that you suck. I'm not asking you to kid yourself and say "I love Cs!," but I am asking you to come up with a more positive, realistic statement. I'll let you in on a little secret: this is the basis of cognitive therapy. An example of a reframed thought may look like this: "Okay, so I got a C on this paper but this isn't usual and I can just learn from this paper how I can improve." 

Additionally, as I have the benefit of age, I can tell you that one "C" on a paper-or even three-is not going to prohibit you from getting into college, obtaining a career or finding the one to marry. It's all about the big picture, my dear. 

Breathe and relax,