Enrich Your Life Skills & Career
Dr. Jitendra Nagpal
Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable our youngsters to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. These are a set of human skills acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life. Dr. Jitendra Nagpal is a Life Skills Coach. He is a developmental trainer in youth wellbeing and soft skills for the schools, colleges and corporate sector. In this regular column, he will answer the questions of our readers
Question. I am 17 year old girl studying in first year of college. I often feel out of place when I am in campus. I have zero self-confidence and have trouble in facing people. I often feel dominated by others or mocked by them and I can never answer back or express my feelings about that. Please help?
Answer Self-confidence is indeed desirable in maintenance of good mental health and wellbeing. To begin with, make a clear cut assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Nurture your strengths and make them a part of your personality. Take pride in your opinions and ideas. Don’t be afraid to voice out your opinions.
Learn to be assertive in order to avoid unnecessary domination. Ascertain your boundaries and communicate. Don’t hesitate to tell your friends when they trample your feelings or cross your boundaries. They will respect you for your honesty. Instead of staying in your comfort zone, fearing failure and avoiding taking risks be willing to take risks and go the extra mile to achieve better things. Aim for accomplishments rather than perfection. People with high self esteem tend to have better relationships with peers and adults, feel happier, find it easier to deal with mistakes, disappointments, and failures, and are more likely to stick with something until they succeed.
Sometimes a change in appearance helps. Let go of the past. You can shape whatever happens from now on and create a new, confident you. The nagging voice that tells you are not good enough, strong enough or smart enough is the inner critic which is universal, in some it is quite persistent. If you repeatedly put yourself down, it will knock confidence right out of you. Drop self-deprecation. Learn to pick up and defeats the negative self-talk which can destroy your confidence Frequently remind yourself of all of the good things you have done. Spend more time with positive people who support you and make you feel good.Confide your problem to a close friend and he/she may be able to help you in communicating with others. Connect with supportive people and recuperate their interest in you. You will feel better.
Q. I am a 19 yr old Male, studying in 2nd year in a college in Delhi University. Since the time I can recall, I have been into a habit of lying. I initially started to hide some petty faults of mine when I was young but I could not realize when it caught me in such a big way. Now I feel helpless when I am not able to check myself from lying to others but as a consequence of which my family and peer relations have started getting affected immensely. Please provide me with some help and guidance into the matter. Is this a mental illness?
A. It takes great courage to be aware of your behavior and sharing it, wanting a change. It is a beginning and from here on it may not be diagnosed as a disorder in itself. A new journey of self awareness and towards betterment of your habit has already started.
Lying is not usually a sign of mental illness. Yes, it may move into a symptom of illness. When people refer to someone as ‘pathological liar ‘they probably mean who finds lying as easy as telling the truth. Your behavior of lying could be therefor regarded as pathological lying . The first step for you would be to observe and introspect to know what causes you to lie. Ask yourself questions like , “ what would happen if you told the truth “ , “why are you lying “ , how do you react when you stop yourself from lying and also observe how many times you lie in a day . The next step would be to realize how this habit is affecting your life and your relationships with other people. Do you want other people to be suspicious of you? Do you want your best friend to never believe in what you say?
It is important to realize the harm and that being truthful would do well to your personal and social life in the long run. So the final step is to minimize your lying altogether. This has to be done systematically – lying lesser and lesser each day. It takes courage to face the problem and fight it. Seek help from your family members and friends. They will help you confront it and work for a positive tomorrow. If it still persists, then you should seek help from a professional. Coping with few securities and stressors in our subconscious is important. Best wishes.