The Powerful Mindset Question Your Teen (and You) Should be Asking

My work is to help students open doors and create opportunities for themselves. I recently recorded the following 58-second video and posted it to Insta. I framed the information as an important tip for students to keep in mind during college visits. However, the point I address is broadly applicable to all of us and how we show up in life for nearly everything and everyone. In fact, it's a question we could each productively ask ourselves dozens of times a day:

Am I trying to prove that I am worthy of acceptance?


Am I leading with what I have to contribute? 

This is about "entering the room" with a mindset of inherent worth. Believing in your own intrinsic worth, and proceeding with the resulting confidence and mindset, frees you to show up focused on adding value; on truly contributing to the conversation. When we show up like that, everything goes better. Doors open and opportunities emerge. And yes, I understand that both you and your teen may struggle with this; imposter syndrome is endemic. But even thinking through what you would say and how you would behave if you believed you fully deserved to be "in the room" almost inevitably invites a way of approaching the call or the meeting or the Zoom or the interview from a calmer, more value-centered point of view.


I invite you to have this conversation with your teen, and I'd love to hear how it goes. Teens will often listen when it comes to admissions, and who knows: your teen may even take the idea to heart. If so, I'd be willing to wager that admissions officers aren't the only people who will find it refreshing to talk with a teen with this mindset.

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