Believe in yourself

Maullika Sharma Mar 14 2018, 22:29 IST
Ask Your Counsellor

Dear Madam,

I am a second year Mechanical engineering student and I have three backlogs. Currently, I am writing my third semester exams. I have not done well in two of them. Though I am putting in my best effort, I am not able to score well. I am not sure what to do as I have tried various techniques that can help me be prepared for the exam. I feel like quitting every day, but I still try. However, I am failing miserably. Please guide.


Dear Sumit,

Please get the help of a counsellor, or call the Parivarthan Counselling Helpline at +91 7676602602 for free support. I am concerned that you feel like quitting and encourage you to reach out for help at the earliest. Nothing is more important than your well-being. Clearing an exam may be necessary to go to the logical next step, but you must not allow that to become a declaration of your success or failure as a person. Please remember failure is a term used to define an event, not a person. You fail, or succeed at doing something. That does not mean you are a failure, or a success.

Even if you fail at an exam, you do not fail as a person because there are so many other aspects of yourself at which may be strengths. This article on failure ( maybe helpful, but also please seek the urgent help of a counsellor to help you deal with the current frustrations. Remember that this too shall pass even though right now it seems like your whole life depends on it.

Dear Madam,

I have two children. My husband and I are Ayurvedic doctors. The problem is with our elder son. He does not show any interest in studies or extracurricular activities. He obeys all our rules but does not think differently. Nobody in the family except me knows English. However, I am not fluent in the language. I have been trying hard to learn and speak English for the sake of my children. I am confused as to how I can develop the habits like reading newspapers and novels in them. Please guide.

A Parent

Dear Parent,

I appreciate your concern to get your children to be more fluent in English since that definitely opens up more opportunities for them. You say your English is not good, but your letter is well written so I wonder if you are just under-rating yourself. A lot of language skills are picked up from the environment so if they are not exposed to English in the home environment, you may look at speaking to them in English as much as you can, and putting them in some extracurricular classes where they have to speak in English.

If they are fond of using the Internet and smartphone, there will be language learning apps on the phone that you can introduce them to which will help them learn the language while still making it fun.

Maybe your husband and the children can take those classes together so it is something for them to do together and it is mutually beneficial as well. Maybe you can see English movies meant for children together. When you are watching the news on the TV, you could watch an English news channel.

Our educational system encourages students to just follow instructions and do as told to. It does not really encourage them to think out of the box so that is something you will need to do at home. Don't reward good marks only, instead reward effort. You are the best person to decide what will work in your family situation, but believe in yourself, and your power to influence your children no matter what the others say. Use that power to the extent you can, but don't beat yourself up if you don't succeed like you would have liked. Sometimes the results of the seeds you sow will only show up many years later.

Dear Madam,

I am a Class 10 student. Earlier, I used to understand every concept and read books well, but recently I have developed a tendency to recheck everything multiple times. For example, if I am solving a Maths problem, I recheck the calculations many times and this consumes a lot of time. I just want to get rid of this anxiety and doubt. My parents don't seem to understand it. I also wash my hands several times before eating. I don't know why. I don't do this for pleasure and I end up being a lot more stressed. Please help.

A Student

Dear Student,

I understand your pain and how frustrating this constant anxiety may be making you. I think it is important for you to reach out to a psychiatrist who can help you understand what is going on.

What you are experiencing happens to about 1 percent of the population so you are not alone. But you can get help with medication and therapy which will make you feel much better.

This is not something you maybe just imagining and you must try and get your parents on board. You may want to show them this letter to understand that this is not something that you are just making up. Get the appropriate help so that you can then learn to manage the anxiety. If you have access to a counsellor that may also be a good first step to begin with to help get your parents understand that this is not something you are just imagining.
All the best!

Dear Madam,

As someone who is transitioning from being a student to an earning member of society for the first time in a few months, I am apprehensive. Though I have got a taste of it briefly through internships, I am unsure as to how I will fit in and confidently present
myself. Could you suggest a few aspects that I could focus on to bring the best out of me?


Dear Nilanjana,

It is encouraging that you are thinking about aspects that you can work on that will make you feel more confident about yourself, and therefore allow yourself to present yourself more confidently. Success in the workplace depends to a large extent on aspects of your personality that we are not really trained to focus on through our education system €" things like confidence, ability to learn on the job, ability to apply your learnings, the ability to think out of the box and problem solve, your ability to be a meaningful member of the team, and also be able to lead a team and take initiative.

Your communication skills, relationship skills, learning and reasoning skills, among others play a very important role €" more so than your actual current knowledge of the job at hand. So, focus on these softer aspects of which I have mentioned a few. Most importantly, believe in yourself and the rest will follow. Good luck for your new phase of life and remember to enjoy the journey. Don't fear making a mistake because we all make mistakes before we get it right.

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