Why should you care about MY thoughts?

A lot of Accounting students I’ve dealt with over the years have voiced similar thoughts and feelings to those I’ve had (I’ve spent a LOT of time with UNISA BCompt and UNISA CTA students!). I want people to think about the pressure they put themselves under, and the extra stress they may create for themselves, by holding onto some of these fears unnecessarily.

I’ve spent a lot of time with students, and myself, on developing a growth mindset. The challenges I’ve had, and these below, are indicators of a Fixed Mindset

So, I created a ‘presentation’ to share thoughts and feelings I’ve had about my definition of myself, success and when I’d feel ‘ok’… and how I’ve learnt (and am STILL learning!) to feel about them.

(Just use your right and left cursor to move through the presentation… it’s only 14 slides… it’ll take 5 minutes!)


  • The labels we give ourselves… and HOLD ONTO… can create limits and ‘narrow’ our lives. Beware of being overly ‘permanent’ about your labels.
  • Every new experience exposes us to something else, something new… those ‘things’ might change us, make us feel differently… if you HANG onto that old label… you might not explore that new ‘thing’!

Being ‘smart’

  • The smartest people I know are the ones who ask questions, spend time struggling with things to really grasp them, and acknowledge that they’ll never ‘know’ everything
  • Making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re not ‘smart’… it means that you’re working your way from knowing less, to knowing a little more and more and more… learning accumulates… it doesn’t land in your brain magically!
  • If you’re more worried about ‘looking stupid’ than trying something… you’re seriously going to limit your lives, not get help, and reject opportunities!

When will you be ‘ok’, and ‘know what you’re doing’?

  • You’ll NEVER know what you’re doing… if you’re doing life properly! If you ‘know everything’… it’s because you’re staying in the same place for so long, not allowing yourself to step outside your comfort zone to challenge yourself… that’s not success… that’s stagnation
  • If you keep waiting for some external measurement (certain marks, your degree, CTA, Board exams, CA(SA) qualification etc) to make you ‘feel ok’ and smart… you’ll be waiting your whole life. Only YOU can make yourself feel ‘ok’
  • I wrote an article on this... “When did I stop feeling stupid, when did I feel like I knew what I was doing?”
Successful people, those with a growth mindset, challenge themselves. They accept that they’ll be working outside their comfort zones, are motivated by learning. They see ‘success’ as continually trying to be their best ‘selves’, rather than compare to others

(Quick poll) Please let me know if you relate to any of this?!

The more I know about how you feel and think… the more I can give you relevant information!
(There are only 4 questions… totally anonymous!)


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Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

I coach accounting students who are struggling with their study habits and mindset, and want their studies to be as effective as they used to be. See more on my about page

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