Being a young changemaker is exciting. But sometimes managing school, extracurricular projects, and private life all at once gets overwhelming. Besides that, teenagers oftentimes have to deal with emotional changes within. Unfortunately, most school systems of today teach children the knowledge that the school curriculum requires but hardly any soft skills that help young people with personal and emotional problems.
“We need to prioritize youth well-being and we have to stop focusing only on education and really think about full development.”– Donovan Taylor Hall
Having struggled as a teenager himself, Donovan Taylor Hall set out to become a youth coach. He teaches students how to achieve mental health and how to deal with difficult situations. When working with kids, Donovan likes to focus on three superpowers that ignite positive change:
“Youth empowerment is not about fixing all the problems. Instead, it’s giving kids the tools so they can fix it themselves.”– Donovan Taylor Hall
So, what are the three superpowers, Donovan believes a young changemaker needs to have to thrive in today’s crazy world of opportunities?
The first superpower transforms the way you view learning and growth. A growth mindset is a belief that through practice, time and effort you can get better at something, no matter how good you are right now. It’s the opposite of a fixed mindset, which is the belief that you cannot change.
The first step to transitioning from a fixed to a growth mindset is to shift your focus. Instead of focusing on the goal (which might seem too far away), focus on the small achievements and learnings that you have every day.
Words are powerful tools. Not only how you talk to others but more importantly, how you talk to yourself. As the quote goes: “You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. So be kind to yourself.”
You can actually train your brain to change to more positive self-talk. One simple thing you can do is to have a note in your purse which says “I love myself”. Every time you see it, repeat this mantra ten times for yourself. It might feel odd at first but after some time you will notice how your self-image will transform.
“The best way to put self-love for kids is: Be your own best friend”– Donovan Taylor Hall
Life can get tough sometimes. You can never control 100% what happens to you, but you can influence how you feel within yourself. You can make sure that you have time for yourself, to recover, refill your inner battery and continue your impact journey with new energy. Be your own best friend. Create safety on the inside. Be safe with yourself wherever you go.
“Self-love is a verb, it’s a practice. You have to do it every day.”– Donovan Taylor Hall
The third superpower transforms the way you see your relationships and how you interact with the world. People notice when you are grateful. When you appreciate what you have, new opportunities seem to freely come to you. And it doesn’t have to be big events. You can start by expressing your gratitude for the small things in your life and the things you learn. This closes the circle to the first superpower: A growth Mindset.
Leading by example
As a youth advocate, Donovan aka as some of you might know him donofriend, knows firsthand that just telling kids “Love yourself” doesn’t help. They need actual tools. And the best way to show these tools is to live by them. So if you already use one or more of the above-mentioned superpowers and want to share them with others, then be a role model and lead by example. And if you want to find out more about Donovan and his mission to become a truly public teacher, check out our latest Moonshot Pirates Talk with him.