Existential Psychology

Never Let A Bad Teacher Crush Your Dreams

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Most of  us like to think of teachers as benevolent, supportive, encouraging mentors whose only goal is to get the best out of their students. But of course that image doesn’t always sync up with reality. There are a lot of mean spirited, frustrated, despairing teachers out there who take out their negativity around the failure to produce anything of substance in their chosen field on their students.

Never let a bad teacher crush your dreams. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard the same story, which is that a person as a student came across a teacher who completely sucked the joy and passion out of what they were doing, a teacher who made them feel incompetent over the weeks and months until finally compelling them to give up the path.

If you want to stay within the villain victim paradigm, then the obvious reason to start back up if you quit your chosen path because of a negative experience with a bad teacher is that you’re allowing yourself to be the victim not just once but twice by quitting forever. Getting knocked down is the first, never getting back up is the second.

But let’s get away from the villain victim paradigm and realize that, for the love of the gods, it’s just one person’s opinion, one tiny individual’s say in the matter. Letting anyone exert such a powerful sway over the course of your life is a mistake. Even if your teacher was right about the quality of your work at that point, it doesn’t mean much. The nature of self-actualization in the realm of creation is that the quality of your work evolves right along with you. We only need look at any of the greats in any field to verify this fundamental truth. They progress as they go along, their work gets better and better, their thought goes deeper and deeper, until what they produced at the start of their journey is almost unrecognizable from what they produce at the end of it.

Students are usually desperate to become masters, and this desperation compels them to focus their attention on the future while degrading what they’re doing in the present – an attitude that makes them particularly vulnerable to criticism from mean spirited authority figures. Meanwhile masters are only interested in being students, they focus their attention on what they’re doing in the present and remain sponges throughout their lives, constantly improving upon the quality of their work by maintaining the learning focused attitude.

So shrug off the negative criticism that was directed your way by a bad teacher and get back on your path. Just because you’re not at mastery level now doesn’t mean you won’t be one day. The way to get there is to stop worrying about being a master, to stop worrying that your work’s not good enough yet, and instead just put everything you have into doing the best you can with what you have as you continue to learn and improve.