I used to be an all rounder in my class, pretty much excelling or being one of the better ones in everything I put my mind to. In the recent past, there have been a few changes that have taken place in my family because of which my responsibilities at home have increased. As a result of these responsibilities, I have suffered a slight set back in class. I often find myself questioning my confidence and abilities now. It scares me to think that I might be lagging behind and may completely lose focus. Could you please advise?
Thank you for your email and for sharing your predicament with me. It is so nice to know of your success at school as well as your willingness to take on additional responsibilities at home. I bet it wasn’t an easy shift to make and finding time to balance both is perhaps the biggest struggle.
There will be times in your life where you might not always be the best but keep in mind that what matters the most is that you give it your best shot. Although you might feel like you are not on top of your game anymore, I can’t help but feel like you still have so much to be proud of. Not everyone can cope with the challenges that life throws at us but if you manage to wake up with the determination to keep trying, that is definitely a feather to add to your hat.
We can’t always be strong but we can try and be brave. If you focus more on all the things you are able to do and put less pressure on being the best it will help you restore your confidence in yourself and your abilities. After all, confidence is the art of having faith in yourself. You can either have faith or you can have fear. Both cannot coexist. Think positive. With any task you set out to do – believe in yourself, have faith in God and your abilities and you will slowly but surely see yourself working magic. Inhale confidence, exhale doubt. All the best.
I find it hard to accept defeat. I know I can’t always win but every time I lose, I feel very upset. Most of the time, it isn’t anything about the competition that puts me off but it is more about the comments and remarks that people make about me when I lose. They tend to say very mean and rude words that have me feeling that I am not good at anything. I am feeling so horrible about myself and can’t help but feel hurt. Please advise.
Thank you for writing in and sharing your concerns with me. I am so sorry that you have to deal with the nastiness of the world. You are absolutely right in feeling what you’re feeling and you should take the time out to deal with it. Not winning does hurt especially when you know you have worked hard. However, when defeat comes, accept it gracefully, rework the plan, maximise the effort and prepare to sail again. Winners are not people who never fail but are people who never quit.
The people around you will always talk, whether you win or lose. But remember that it was you who had the courage, determination and potential to be in the competition and not them. If people try to bring you down, it only means that you are above them. Do not give anyone the power to make you feel unhappy or unworthy.
The way people treat you says more about who they are as human beings and has very little to do with you. You will always meet two kinds of people in life – those who build you up and those who tear you down. In the end, you will thank them both. ‘If someone is strong enough to bring you down, show them you are strong enough to get back up’ – A Josland. Good luck.
In a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind – with your words and your actions. Do things for people, not because of who they are or what they can do in return but because of who you are. Remember that we rise by lifting others.
Do keep writing in with any queries you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, spread kindness – it’s free!
(The columnist is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school counsellor.)