Identify and build upon your strengths

Dear Madam,

 I have developed a negative persona since I once got into depression. I thought I had been good always, but I had to come across a problem like this. I was infatuated with a boy during my school days and I had revealed it to my friends. But two years after school, I felt very scared as one of them had told it to others. I thought I cheated God and my family. I had not been good enough for these feelings of adolescent age coming to me. I was so depressed that I totally regarded myself as a bad girl and started converting my all good things into negative ones. I began negative self-talk. It was for a very long time. Between this I felt that I like to be negative, to cheat all. Now I am find myself a negative person. I feel very bad and I am unable to change my mind on a positive path, always thinking negatively. Please help me to be positive. I feel I don't have the desire and motivation to be good.

A Student

Dear Student

Thank you for getting in touch with me. I urge you to go for counselling to help you identify your unhelpful thought patterns and replace them with something that is more positive and helpful for you. Even a couple of counselling sessions will make a big difference.

From all you have said in your letter, I understand that you are feeling guilty because you became attracted to one boy several years ago, and you feel that it is a ‘sin’ to do so and that you have let God and your family down by doing so. Let me tell you very clearly, no matter what religion you follow, it is not a crime to be attracted to someone, in fact it is the natural order of things in the world. Had it not been for this attraction the world would not have gone on? Hindu mythology and scriptures are full of tales of this sexual attraction. So then what makes you believe it is a sin? Our society often lives by double standards and children are made to believe it is a sin, and they grow up staying with that belief, not ever being able to challenge it (because we are also often told not to challenge what our elders have told us). You have committed no sin, or crime. You are a worthy able person who now just needs the help of a counsellor to question some of these deep-seated beliefs that you have grown up with. Get this help as soon as you can and start living again. All the best.

Dear Madam

Now I am in my 1st PUC (PCMB). I don't know why I feel so inferior. I feel everyone is greater than me, and they have their own talents. I feel nervous and scared to speak to my lecturers. If they ask me any questions or tell me to read out something I can't do that. I mispronounce things and my hands start shaking a lot. I don't feel confident about myself and I really don't know why this happens to me. At home everything is alright but outside I get nervous. In my exams too I make a lot of silly mistakes because of which I loose marks. I feel inferior and my parents always scold me because I do everything very slowly and in an improper way. Please guide me on how I can come out of this, and suggest me ways to build my confidence.

Chaitra Gowda

Dear Chaitra

I have written a lot about self-esteem in this column before. I urge you to read some related articles on this in my blog: See a lion in the mirror ); How balanced are your seesaws ( ); Its not the end of the road ( You must take the help of a trusted adult or of a counsellor to help you work around this and to build your self-esteem. Identify your strengths and gain confidence from them; recognize your weaknesses and accept them. In short know who you are now, and how you would like to change and grow.  This knowledge will give you the foundation to believe in yourself. Know that you are special and that there is no one else exactly like you. Cherish that uniqueness and make the most of it.

Maullika Sharma is an MBA graduate with a spcialisation in counsellung. Send in your queries to Education, Deccan Herald, 75, MG Road, Bangalore-560001or email us at dheducation@

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