Communicate your feelings

Ask your counsellor
Last Updated 24 October 2019, 00:30 IST

Dear Madam,

I am good at sports and average in studies. I want to concentrate on sports and become a sportsperson. But my parents see no future in sports and want me to give up on my dreams and only focus on studies. They have enrolled me for tuitions where I spend my evenings. I can understand that my parents want the best for me, but I wish they understand me as well. How can I convince them to support me in pursuing sports actively?


Dear Sujay,

The best way forward for you is to do a fair assessment of your sports capability. Are you at a level in the sport of your choice that would allow you to lead a successful life on its basis? Or do you have a path forward that will allow you to engage with the sport and build a financially independent life by engaging in a field affiliated to the sport? I am sure your parents are concerned about your ability to make a successful and financially independent career in sports, if you are not at the top of the field. Even the very successful sports people, often have jobs to support them financially, or have degrees which give them a back-up option. So, think through your plans and chart out your course. Talk to people knowledgeable in the field.

Explore what options exist for you to engage in the sport while also gaining financial independence — maybe fields affiliated to sports. Understand what is needed from an education perspective to get there. Once you have done your homework, and still decide that sports is the best way forward for you, then present your plan to your parents. In the absence of a specific plan, your parents are bound to feel that you are talking in the air and don’t know what you are talking about. Visualise what a life in the field of sport will look like for you? If you are convinced, then go ahead and convince your parents. Take the help of a career counsellor if needed.

Dear Madam,

I am 15 year old and my parents always restrict me from doing whatever I wish to do. They always force me to do what they want me to do and they don’t encourage me at all. I am finding it difficult in creating my own comfortable space. Please help.


Dear Hemanth,

I encourage you to have a conversation with your parents about how you are feeling. Very often we assume that the other person knows and understands our feelings without expressing them. So, express what you are feeling and how you are not feeling comfortable.

Often parents don’t realise that as children grow up and enter their adolescent years, they need their own space, and they need to be given an opportunity to create their own identity as different from the one their parents want them to have. There is no solution better than communicating your feelings to your parents. However, if you feel unable to do this, it is best you talk to a counsellor who can help you work through this.

Dear Madam,

I am 27 year old. I wish to do MBA from a top Indian B school. I have been preparing for CAT relentlessly, but the results have been rather disappointing. Hence, I have become uninterested in life. Please help.


Dear Ranjith,

It can be quite disheartening when you are working towards something and that does not materialise. However, it is important to always remember that there is not only one definition of success in life, and there is always more than one path to get there. Also, look at the long-term, and not just the next step. Understand what success means to you, what your strengths are, what challenges you, what would interest you as an area of work for the next few years. There are no right and wrong answers to these questions; there are just very personal answers to these questions which will help you learn more about yourself.

An MBA is not a goal in itself, it is only the stepping stone to the next step. There can be alternative routes to get to where you want to, provided you know where you want to get to. It may be helpful for you to reach out to a career counsellor to understand different options and paths, or to a counsellor to help find your motivation again. Remember, failure is a term used only to describe an event, not a person. Good luck!

Dear Madam,

I am currently studying in college. Though I am academically good and get appreciated by my teachers and peers, I generally feel lost. Unlike my friends who get excited about trivial issues, I am not enthusiastic about anything. How can I develop a more positive approach towards life?


Dear Nethra,

Everyone is different and the same things generate different responses from different people. You don’t have to be a particular way just because everyone else is. However, having said that, if you are not feeling comfortable with who you are, how you are responding to life, and how you are feeling, it may be an indication for you to talk to someone you can trust, or to a counsellor.

A counsellor will help you work through your thoughts to identify what is making you hang on to the not so positive ones, or making you feel lost. If you have a counsellor in your college, please reach out to one. Maybe you are being weighed down by some irrational beliefs about the world around you, or maybe something else is bothering you. It will help to be able to talk to someone in a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space. All the best!

Dear Madam,

I am currently doing my engineering and am staying in a PG. I got influenced by my friends and started smoking. For the past six months, I have been hooked on cigarettes. Now, I wish to quit smoking but am unable to do so. Also, my parents aren’t aware of it and I feel guilty about it. Please help.


Dear Nishanth,

It can be tough to quit. Different things work for different people. Some go cold turkey and stop in a day, bearing the discomfort that it brings initially. Some gradually taper it off. Some work with a wellness coach to keep them on track and help them through the process.

For any kind of addiction, it is important to be able to identify what need does the addiction fulfil, and then find other ways of meeting those needs. For instance, if it fills a vacuum and gives you something to do in your spare time, then is there something else that you can consciously do in your spare time? Or if it relieves your stress, then what else can you do to relieve your stress — be it exercise or meditation. It is best to work with someone experienced in this field if you are unable to do it yourself.

(Published 24 October 2019, 00:30 IST)

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