Followers

Monday, October 26, 2020

Train your mind to be optimistic

6 ways to become optimistic and lead a healthy and fulfilled life.







 

Human beings are optimistic by nature. It’s a positive trait that holds our faith intact and gives us the inner strength to fight life’s battle, no matter how bad or worse the situation be.

The very word optimism energizes and stokes us with positive emotions, and nudges us with strength and courage to move in the right direction, springs new hope in our heart in anticipation of a bright & better tomorrow, enables you to cast off the negative and naysaying mind prods you to look for an oasis in the desert.

Metaphorically optimism is seeing a glass as Half-empty or Half-full. An optimist is a person who focuses on opportunities in adverse situations and will not discount or ignore the obstacles.

Optimism is positive psychology, you will have a positive orientation towards life. We are optimistic about career, relationship, financial well-being..and many more.

We are  hooked to life despite the trouble  because of our positive outlook, we expect the situation to turn around and look  good someday in the future, this is what keeps us going the “optimism”




Let me share an interesting story.

 A big shoe company decided to set up a sales showroom in one of the towns, so they sent two marketing experts to find out the potential and set up the unit.

After a few days of marketing research one of the experts concluded by saying “ Don’t waste time, nobody wears the shoes in this town”

Another expert not aware of the first, one’s  findings write a mail to the company “ Congrats, please send the material fast, we have a huge potential as no one wears shoes in this town”

Same people different views,  one is pessimistic and another is optimistic, and the latter sees an opportunity in every situation and looks for a positive outcome.

Just on the humor side of optimism…..Two friends went to a barbershop, one had hair and another was bald except for a few strands of hair. ……On seeing the bald guy the barber was puzzled, asked how could he help…the bald friend asked the barber to colour his hair…….. he was optimistic he would look good!

Carl Lewis…called dearly by Americans as Carl the King….a great athlete, a dominant sprinter, and a long jumper won 9 Olympic gold medals, one silver Olympic medals, and 10 world championship medals. He is known for his tenacity, courage, and strength…he had to face many challenges including severe injuries that had crippled him, but.. optimistic nature kept him going and he achieved an unparalleled feat, which would be remembered for generations to come.

 

 By being optimistic you can improve your physical and psychological well-being, Surprisingly many diseases are cured by being optimistic and not letting the negativity take over.

 You feel rejuvenated and energized, and active, you remain emotionally stable and grounded in reality.

History is replete with people who by sheer optimism and determination achieved unimaginable success and glory. It may be winning a war or building an empire, It could be a  scientific invention, or bringing social changes.

All these people struggled hard and faced terrible situations, but they had one thing in common, they were optimistic and undeterred by the hardship. They were self-motivated worked relentlessly in anticipation of their endeavor coming to fruition.

SEMrush

 It is not easy to be optimistic in the midst of negativities and adverse situations. One needs to have a good determination, a positive frame of mind, and trust. Being optimistic gives you an immense benefit, we shall discuss in the latter part.

What constitutes optimism:

Optimism is a trait, all of us have to some degree. When placed in a certain bad situation, we don’t get deterred, we face boldly and beam a positive outlook and think of it as a temporary setback.

 Some people succumb to pressure and become a pessimist and start brooding If the period of uncertainty stretches a little longer time. They don't have the mental strength and courage to endure and move forward.

What amazes is the tenacity and the courage of optimistic folks, despite having to put up with the prolonged period of uncertainty. There are a few strong individuals who fight the battle till the end, they don’t succumb to temporary pressures and accept defeat. They are profound in their thought process and they are aware of every pitfall and don’t get discouraged even in the worst-case scenario.

 

Optimistic VS Realistic.

It’s good to be optimistic, but we need to be aware of the reality also. Due to over-optimism, we tend to ignore reality. 24/7 you can’t be seeing the rainbows, there are dark clouds and showers. We must be prepared and be aware of the unfavorable situations which can contribute to defeating the purpose.

Ex: in gambling people keep increasing the stakes in anticipating a win even when they are losing continuously.. you must know when to accept reality and learn to pull yourself out. Very rarely people make money in gambling unless you are a manipulator.

Ex:  You have to be realistic in business, understanding business nuances in the face of reality gives you an edge over others and propel to accelerate growth. Being optimistic serves to stay in the middle of tough competition.

You must know when to invest and when to stop and should you bootstrap or go to venture capitalist.

Optimism leads to resilience, it gives the inner strength to bounce back from trauma ( emotional or physical) and gain normalcy. Resilient people are optimistic from the core, the very essence is drawn from this trait or attribute. 

Ex: People who have met with an accident with multiple injuries can bounce back solely because of an optimistic outlook and resilient nature.

 

Why are we not optimistic;

There are many reasons for not being optimistic. The below points for me seems a major contributing factor.

1. It may be due to bad past experiences and repeated failures.

2.  It may be in belief systems

3. Lack of self- confidence

4. Being in the company of pessimists, you get rubbed on with the same energy.

5. Depression and other organic causes.

 


  

How to be optimistic;

Optimism is an essential trait that makes you successful. According to a few studies, it’s the gateway to health and socially fulfilling life.

Psychologists have recommended many methods to develop the attribute of Optimism. I have taken a few points below, it is also my experience if followed faithfully impacts life positively.

      1. Don’t let the past failures to bog you down;

When the past failures stalk you, don’t fret and fume, please be calm and analyze the situation and find the cause for failures. When you know the Why’s the How becomes easy and the opportunity emerges from the shadows. Be tenacious in your search for Why’s …..after that everything falls in place.

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”

2.  Reflect;

It’s time to take stock of your behavior, go deep inside to reflect. By doing so, you will come to know your flaws and help you to take corrective action. Reflect on the lessons learned from failures and the opportunities presented to you.

 

       3. Be with positive people;

Surround yourself with positive thinking people, you will get that energy and motivation.

     

       4. Believe;

Believe in your potential and believe that anything can change, nothing is permanent and everything is subject to change……When you believe your potential expands and you are set to achieve the impossible. Also, change your belief system from lackness to abundance.

 

     5. Focus;

Stay focused on your goals and never take your eyes off, whatever may be the circumstances. Intense focus allows you to gain the confidence to resolve any issues or problems. Naturally, you become optimistic

 

     6. Be accountable;

Take charge of your life and never be a victim of circumstances. Never find excuses or blame others for the failures.

 

Friends….. Life is not easy, don’t expect it to be easy, the very way life designed is to go through these moments of imperfections and learning from it.

 Adversities are part of life, some people have to endure for a longer period.….it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be struggling, it’s ok to feel bad and crib…it’s ok to tell your friends that you have failed……but it’s not ok to give up and stop trying… you never know tomorrow can be a turning point and your life can flip for the better.

Nothing is easy in life…There is always a struggle, be optimistic everything will change for the better.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

7 Practical ways to over come Indecisiveness

 



7 easy ways to deal with Indecisiveness and lead a successful life



                                              

               

 

Should i order masala dosa or plain dosa…shall i go to my office by bike or car, should i wear salwar or saree… can i talk to her or not …..we juggle between the choices and remain indecisive.

I am reminded of Shakespeare’s Hamlet “the indecisive protagonist” who wavers between two extremes “To be or not to be” The dilemma and the emotional trauma he goes through to make a decision represents our sufferings in day to day life.

Indecisiveness is defined as being in a state of confusion or dilemma to take the right decision. The situation is like sitting on the fence; don’t know which side to jump.

Being indecisive is common, often in life, we go through this phase. Some are mundane ( like what to eat for dinner and should we watch the movie…) and a few are serious. ( Like choosing the carrier, marriage….building business) When we are faced with an ambiguous situation we tend to become indecisive.

The habit of indecisiveness is well entrenched from young days in our minds. For kids, parents make the decision and when they grow up and become adolescents, many of them remain indecisive because of too many choices and lack of knowledge to differentiate.

This habit continues to hog them even as adults and for some a whole lifetime, they are habituated not taking decisions owing to overprotective parents, sloppy nature, or previous bad experience of a decision gone wrong. They remain fearful and always live in dilemma.

They get stressed up even to make the simplest decision like selecting a menu or wearing a dress for a special occasion. Some people can't even decide what they want for dinner.






It saddens, to see people remain indecisive even in the face of threat. I remember a story from a real incident.

It was a bad marriage and her husband was abusive, every day she was harassed and tortured.

He used to beat her and hurt her badly for no reason. She silently suffered harassments thinking it as her fate and did not confide with anyone, including her parents and her best friend.

This went on for some time and reached a point where she couldn't take it anymore. She cried silently and asked  God “ Why me”   What have I done…but got no answer.

After some time she conceived and delivered a baby girl. This triggered her inlaw's anger that she gave birth to a girl child, and the whole gang began to torture her.

She was fed up with life, and one fine day she disclosed everything to her close friend. Her friend advised her to move out of the marriage and lead a peaceful life. The lady was reluctant to sever the marriage tie because she thought it was against our tradition an act of sin and she would be cursed by GOD.

It was a herculean task to convince her to move out of the marriage and start life afresh. At last, she made the decision and moved out of the marriage.

 

The moral:  Unless we come out of our wrong beliefs and understand what is right or wrong, we remain indecisive and face great harassment and torture.

People get stressed and remain indecisive for several reasons and it is a direct consequence of their upbringing, the faith they hold, the fear they face, the confidence they lack, the self-esteem they need, and the lack of freedom from the past they struggle against.

All of us have grappled with the problem of Indecisiveness, you need to identify and take the corrective action..that differentiates who you are. We keep encountering many such problems in life…. The wise dig for the reasons and work out solutions.

Indecisiveness is not a pathological condition ( extreme cases) more dependent on upbringing and the experience in life. Let's see the reason  why it is hard for us to decide .

 

1) Lack of information: People may need more information before they decide. Some guys are impulsive and decide spontaneously, but the thoughtful, they need proper data and thorough information.

 

 2) Over-analyzing:  Some people spend too much time thinking and get into a logical spiral of “if’s and but’s” and end up over-analyzing, This leads to confusion and hence finds it difficult to decide.

 Excess of analysis leads to paralysis. You are always in hypothetical mode and think of the worst-case scenario. You are more worried about the future than the current situation.

 Press the throttle and start, you can’t expect to be perfect from the word GO…imperfection leads to perfection…take one step, it doesn’t matter how small it is,  but deciding to move from the status quo is very important

 Sometimes, by over-analyzing a simple situation, we turn that into a complicated and a nightmare one.

 Ex: Boss or one of your colleagues had forgotten to interact with you, maybe he had a bad day. But we start overanalyzing and start mental diarrheas of nonsense thoughts crossing our minds and creates more anxiety.

 It is very important to move forward than getting stagnated and rot in the same position because of your over-analyzing tendency.

 

  3) Your upbringing: Overprotective and critical parents are the major cause of kids' indecisiveness.  They keep telling “ you don’t know”  “you are not a grown-up”  all these things add to the problem and bring down self-confidence.

 

Kids should be empowered to decide on their own, by giving choices, what they want to wear and eat, this builds confidence in them. Later in life, it helps them decide fast. Parents and teachers play a big role in this.

 


 4) Fear of failure;  Fear of failure renders you indecisive, it may be due to some bad experience in the past and your experimenting could have gone wrong.

 Way out: You have to change your perspective. It is imperative that not all decisions go 100% right and you are not a fortune-teller. After all, life is all about the decision,  whether good or bad.

In business, you need to take a calculated risk and decide on the course of action...It may be an investment, a new partnership, technology adaptation, or  introduction of a new line of products ..many more.

 

  5) Conscious of others' opinion:  Never decide to please someone. You need to decide what is right for you and in the long term how it will benefit you.

While selecting the career you have to decide based on your competencies and potential to grow, not to please anyone. Also, it is prudent to have information about the scope of the job & the growth prospects. This info gives you a fair idea and enables your decision.

 

 6)  Lack of confidence in oneself: lack of confidence in making the decision is due to a lack of knowledge and skills. Some take it casually and think it as easy as flipping a coin and leave it for the chance. There are crucial decisions to be made carefully with all the right inputs in place.

However many talented people have faced a lack of confidence and bounced back with the right knowledge and skill.


SEMrush

 

7) Procrastination;  This can be due to lack of information and knowledge. Many times we also procrastinate in anticipation of better things to come. However, if you stay in a prolonged period of indecisiveness due procrastination it will affect your growth and performance.

People are bad at managing time and often end up piling more work than they could do. 

You can overcome by scheduling them in an organized manner, work on the difficult task first, and pick the easy and gratifying part later.

 

To conclude;

Indecisiveness is a common problem and we face in every stage of life, even the most talented people have faced it. Indecision truly holds back your potential, don’t sulk in doubt move forward with all knowledge and decide. Life awaits for those who are brave

  



“A person’s greatest limitations are not genetic, but imposed by self-doubt, insecurities, indecision, and timidity---Kilroy J .Oldster

 


Thursday, September 3, 2020

How to handle rejection and be resilient ..

Practical ways to deal with rejection; Follow the powerful steps to overcome rejection


 


 

 

Suresh angrily came out of the interview room, threw the credentials file on the ground, he was seething with anger… “bloody fellows again rejected me, they asked god damn questions and no sane person could have answered, they did it purposely as they have already offered the job to an influential candidate,  this interview is just a sham”.

“I tried my best to convince her, I truly love her, she doesn’t understand and rejected me, for reasons best known to her”…with heavy breath Karan told me, his face was contorted with intense pain and eyes were wet with tears. His heart swelled with emotion.

Muthu is not much qualified and works hard to earn money, he struggles to keep his family members happy, somehow they don’t accept him and he feels like an outcast. His elder brother is well qualified and he gets all the attention. Muthu feels terrible whenever they snub him.

SEMrush

Sneha is an average looking girl from a traditional family and never dares to have a boyfriend in college. She is shy and conscious of her looks. Her family members wish to give her in marriage to a decent family. But some 30 to 40 prospective grooms rejected her because of her average looks. She’s frustrated and she lost all hopes.

Shiva is a brilliant software analyst.  His manager is an anarchist who never gives credit or takes his decisions seriously. He ill-treats him in all project meetings and rejects ideas outright without giving it a thought. Shiva is dejected and feels out of place.  He decided to resign and join another company.

Mukund is a senior citizen; he worked in an executive position and earned good money. He was the decision-maker in the family. After retirement, his son and daughter took over. They don’t involve him in any decisions nor discuss with him any matter. They complain he can't hear nor understand. He feels utterly neglected and has gone into depression.

 Rejection is common in life, it may be due to incompetence,  favoritism,  skin color, jealousy, prejudices,  status….etc

Kids are more prone to get affected by rejection. They need love, care, and attention during the formative years. Between the siblings, they are differentiated and neglected. If they don’t get attention, love, and care they feel rejected, this nasty experience gets rooted strongly and when they grow up, it will manifest in timidity or aggressive behavior.  

 Rejections are most common and nobody is immune to it, the most talented people have been rejected by one way or the other. When you put yourself out in the competitive world and you become vulnerable, but don’t get fazed by it, look at the odds involved, and accept the general rule- higher the stake higher the rewards.

 Indeed, rejection creates an emotional wound and leaves an indelible scar in our psyche. Whether it is due to the spouse leaving you, or not getting admission to the desired school, or not considered for the cricket team in the college, or when rejected in the family or snubbed by friends.




Whatever the reason for rejection, it just doesn't hurt, it damages psychological well-being, it erodes your self-worth. You feel you are not wanted and feel alone like an outcast.

In every phase of life, the universe puts you through a trial by fire, it’s the way the universe strengthens you from inside. Oftentimes, we fail to understand the grand purpose behind it, we get overwhelmed by the pain and do irrational things and suffer even more.

Why we feel rejection is painful:

We want everything in life to happen the way we want, irrespective of whether we deserve it or not. That’s not the way life works, it has its own way, it bends you kneads you, and gives unexpected twists and turns to provide a lesson. 

Rejection seems to cause major emotional trauma since the Ego plays a vital role in hurting the Self by creating a mismatch in your expectations.

You feel the pain of rejection due to flawed self-understanding, having a victimized mindset and your thought processes are devoid of rationality.

Ex:  One of my friends suggested me to meet his cousin who is depressed and of late has become whacky. He feels he is not successful in any areas of life, he is rejected in all interviews, socially he feels ostracized as none of his friends nor relatives accept him. He harbors a wrong feeling that everyone is out to belittle him

We put him through a few psychological tests to ascertain the cause. We were surprised to know all those rejections were his mental construct.  He feels that nobody is giving attention and he has been neglected. In reality, none of his friends did anything of that sort. They say he is shy and timid and never speaks with anyone.

Some rejections are real and painful and hurt us badly.

Rejection can help you build resilience;

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, failures, and rejections. As the saying goes  “When the thing gets tough the tough get going”,  

1) Understand your strength.

Understanding the your strength is the first step in building resilience. SWOT analysis the best way to understand your strength and weakness and map the opportunities to your strength and take action to move forward.

2) Change your perspective.

 Change your perspective means change how you view the  world or the problem and how you feel about it. When perspective change happens you get greater insight and you will be more rational in handling the situation.

3)   Develop self-awareness

 Develop self-awareness, you will understand your personality in a better way, by knowing how you think , feel and behave

You may have certain pattern developed over period of time, or there could be emotional or mood swings. You realize how you behave in certain conditions are stimuli.

Don’t let rejection define you:

Rejection doesn’t necessarily mean that you are worthless, don’t live your life with that tag, its disaster.

Example: You may be rejected by your lover, she/he may have rejected you for the reasons which may not be true. They may have limited understanding or wrong perceptions about you.

Your self-worth is not dependent on other’s opinions about you or a single incident.

We are all unique in our own ways and can excel in our areas of expertise, Don’t get influenced by someone's opinions about you.

Don’t have a Victimised mindset;

Feeling victimized by the person, or circumstances is a habitual pattern, you will wallow in self-pity.  We should come out of the mindset. Stop blaming others and take responsibility for your actions, brooding never serves the purpose nor does it give the power.

The healthy way is :

1) Stop blaming others

2) Develop self-confidence

3) Accept the reality

4) Be flexible

 

 

“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” – Sylvester Stallone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SEMrush


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

6 Easy ways to deal with changes in life:

6 easy ways to deal with change and stay happy without Stress and Anxiety 

 


“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be the reality. Let things flow naturally in whatever way they like.”- Lao Tzu




Change is inevitable and it’s the law of nature. Everything in life is continuously changing-  it may be the seasons, the economy, the politics, your friends, family, society, relationships, and the physical body.

 We experience change in every walk of life, human nature is such, we accept happily if the change is in alignment with our desire or resist if it doesn't meet our expectations. When you resist you develop stress and anxiety.

“Change” is an important subject, reams of books and articles have been written about it. “Change Management” is a hot topic in management circles, periodically managers are trained and retrained to manage change with minimal impact on productivity.

“Cultural change” is very important for societal health and it is a very hard process. If society has to evolve and become more civilized, it needs to undergo many transformations by refining and adapting the old practices to new ways of thinking. Given the fact that some people are reluctant to change,  understandably it is a herculean task to educate them to shed the unwanted cultural practices that are not relevant to present times.  Transition to the new mindset and new practices takes years or decades of hard work, as people are psychologically fixated on doing things in a certain way, and hence educating them to realize the bad implications takes a very long time.

Many times mere educating doesn’t work, We need to enforce change through legal reforms. It’s incumbent on govt to bring in necessary acts. A good example is the way Raja Ram Mohan Roy worked for banning SATI practice.

The crux to deal with change is to have the willingness to adapt to a new situation, however, there is always an inherent resistance in us for change. 

Let's examine Change and how to deal with it.

Broadly we experience two types of change.

1) Changes  that you want to initiate(personal change)

2) Changes that are imposed on you.

                               

Changes that you want to bring in life;

The changes you want to see or bring in your life are mostly a personal one. The examples below indicate the changes you wish to have.

1) You are stuck in a dead-end job and want to change the job and progress in your career.

2) You have difficulty in managing emotions, and that’s spoiling your relations. So you intend to bring in greater emotional stability, so that you can have a better family relationship.

3) You would like to have a better financial status. You change your spendthrift habit to a careful and calculated spender, also you will try to increase your ability to earn more by taking up a  part-time job.

4) You want to be in better health and burn that extra flab around your waist. You work on changing diet and routine by increasing activities.

We embrace the change wholeheartedly if the desired change comes true.

However, many times the change we desire may not materialize, instead, we may get something just opposite of it, then we start cribbing and show a great reluctance.  

When a change is not in our favor we step back and resist. We must understand the reality doesn’t change,  we cannot fight reality forever. Sooner we accept, sooner we get back to the flow and gain peace of mind.

However, apart from personal change, some people want to bring in changes in society through reforms or by philanthropic acts,  It is a selfless act which helps humanity at large.

Changes that are imposed on us:

Some changes in life catch you off guard, and you get bewildered by the sudden jolts of change,  Examples;  Natural calamities like earthquakes, pandemics, tsunami, and fire. Others like accidents and blunders.

Similarly, an unexpected turn of events can lead to a  pleasant change,  it excites and makes us happy,  as the unexpected turn of events(a pleasant change) falls in line with our desire.

Example;  Winning a lottery, a surprise promotion, a beautiful, expensive costly gift by someone you love, a good profit despite business odds. Smoothening of strained relations, return of estranged love..etc  you will be in cloud nine and feel the luck has landed on your lap.

SEMrush

 Many times we are not so lucky to get pleasant results. We face huge challenges when sudden jolts of change push us off the ground.

I heard this story when I was a kid. The story is about a sprinter who had dreams of becoming a national champion. He was a great sprinter, hard-working, and smart sports person. He had won many accolades at the state level and he was preparing to enter the national arena.

On a fatal day, he was walking back home on the pavement after the evening practice session, a speeding car lost control and rammed him from behind. The impact was very bad he was thrown up in the air and fell a few meters away unconscious.

When he regained consciousness, he was shocked to see one of his legs amputated due to severe damage.  He was shocked, wept inconsolably …..cried aloud and shouted,…after some time he calmed down and reconciled  ………His dream got shattered, he had to live with one leg……..life changed forever.

Another incident; Lovers got married after a long courtship, it was a dream come true for them. Their love story was like a  fairy tale, everything was hunky-dory. She conceived and happiness knew no bounds family did a very grand baby shower function, the whole family was excited about the child’s arrival. Unfortunately, She gave birth to a spastic child. They were shocked, and couldn’t believe this  could happen to them….dark clouds shrouded their minds ….and life changed forever.

We have heard and seen many such stories where life has turned 360-degree either for better or for worse.

Below i have given  6 way of dealing change with ease without getting in to  anxiety and stress  

Developing the subtle art of managing change without resistance is very important.

Resisting change is resisting reality, instead of going against the truth, try to befriend the fact of life.

1)  Be open and flexible for change;

 Being flexible and open to change gives us an ability to develop a new perspective, and naturally, you get clarity of mind,  clarity enables us to accept the change without resistance.

Example: When you are transferred to a new project.  

The immediate response is NO, we quickly start contemplating on  Pro’s and Con’s, more so on Con’s.  Our antennas go up and catch the wrong signals, We become defensive and stressful and shut our minds. If we accept with an open mind keeping aside the overthinking mind or anxiety,  in all probabilities, we will recognize the inherent opportunities for growth and learning.

2) Analyze the reason for resistance:

Resistance stems from fear of the unknown, it may be due to wrong influence by friends, colleagues, parents, and society, and also due to faulty belief systems. So learn to analyze deeply and take a prudent decision.

Let’s continue with the above example:  Little analysis indicates the  reason for your fear is due to   moving out of the comfort zone, it can also be working with the new boss and colleagues, fear losing the skills that you have mastered.

If you further break down every reason and analyze, you will come to know the reality is not as threatening as you made out in your mind.

Ex:  fear of moving out of comfort zone:  It is not possible to be in the comfort zone forever however, the same zone can become a battleground after a while. That’s the reality. So take a  wise step to accept the change and move on.

3) Stop Judging;

Don’t judge the situation through the lens of your experience. Try to be cautious, but don’t be obsessed.  You don’t need to go through the same experience again as situations are dynamic. So take a fresh look and come out of your prejudices.  You never know, change may spiral you into higher orbits.

4) Learn to let go;

Life doesn’t happen the way we expect or hope for. Holding onto the desire stubbornly is futile to change reality. Learn to let go and embrace change wholeheartedly. You may have to compromise a bit initially, but it is worth taking an action than remaining in the state limbo.

5) Talk to your close people;

When confusion clouds your mind, and you are unable to cope with change and take the decision, Seek help from your trusted people;  they may be your friends, spouse, colleagues, father, mother, brother, or sisters. They can dole out a sensible suggestions and help you resolve the issues.

6) Mindfulness Meditation;

Start practicing mindfulness mediation, initially go for guided meditation later you can do on your own. Mindfulness helps in calming your mind and gives good clarity in the thought process.

Mindfulness brings down stress and anxiety level to a great extent and helps you to cope with the change easily and transitions to new Change will be normal and happy. 

Let’s change for better…..

 



Friday, August 14, 2020

How to overcome Fear of Exam.

Tips for students to overcome  and say good bye to exam fear



I remember a story which I feel worth telling before we get on with the subject, it is a prelude to the discussion...The story goes like this….

A little boy was happily skating in a large space; He had only recently learnt to skate and was enjoying every stroke of deft footwork he was making as he maneuver his way zooming past his friends.

His mother, worried about his safety, watched over him continuously waving her hand and shouting instructions.

As he was having a jolly time skating, he noticed a small shadow forming behind him. But he neglected it for a while and lost in the fun he was having skating. But soon shadow began to loom so large as to threaten to swallow him. The boy got scared out of his wits and began to run. But it was a futile run as the grisly shadow overwhelmed him and swallowed him. The monstrous shadow that always lurked in him was his fear of exams.

 The above narrative is a metaphor. As normal kids, we’re naturally fearless, joyful, and very confident spontaneously indulging in our passions but somewhere along, the society, parents, and the system came up with their false demands and expectations on us and effectively sowed the seeds of fear of failure in the child. Fear of failure because it’s an artificial demand unrelated to natural talent oriented towards our passion. This is the origin of the fear of exams that grows from bugbear to a monster that sometimes terrorizes hapless kids to even suicide.

It’s not uncommon to feel the fear just before and during  exams. Every student must have gone through this phase experiencing the mild to severe form of fear. As per the study, 30% to 40% of the students suffer severely and 30% moderately and the rest of the students experience a mild form of fear.

SEMrush

Let’s find out the reason for the fear and also ways to deal with it.

What is the Genesis of Fear?

         1. Pressure from parents:

Parents pressurize kids just to keep up with false prestige. Sadly, the parents never consider the natural/special talent the kid has for something within or outside academics, but they force the kid to follow someone's success story and practice herd mentality without understanding the child's potential, likes and dislikes. Parents are wrongly influenced by neighbors and relatives. The continuous pressure on the child creates negative thought patterns that culminate in developing anxiety, tension, and loss of self-confidence.

2. Teachers:

Education is not accumulation of information but character building.

 Teachers are the best architects building child’s character.

They play a key role in the overall development of the child. They are the role models should lead by their examples.Such teachers  have a huge influence on kid's behavior. However, a teacher  can make or break confidence of a child. Some teachers instead of motivating and creating a competitive spirit, criticize the child’s abilities, and make an unfair comparison with other students. Such remarks impact them negatively and dent their confidence.

3.Peer pressure:

Peer pressure is a high influencer and affects the behavior pattern; it is good to have a little pressure as it helps to develop a competitive spirit. Students get confused when the peer influence is not in alignment with personal growth agenda or development. They remain clueless about the future course of action and, naturally, stress builds up.

 4. Lack of planning and preparation:

No significant achievement is worth mentioning without planning and preparation. They are the two important steps in effectively achieving the goal. Some students lack planning & preparation mainly because of casual attitude and lethargy, added to that they get misguided by the friends and seniors. They happily while away  time only to realize that exams are at the doorsteps and in a hurry begin last-minute crash preparation that only ends up in a big mess.

5. Lack of confidence:

If faith can move mountains, confidence can shatter them.

Confidence can break the unbreakable, that’s the power of confidence. When aspiration of students don’t match with expectations of parents  and society, added to that if he is being bombarded with  negative affirmations and criticized for some gaps in life affects them negatively, and  the student may gradually lose confidence. The feeling of unfit or that he is a misfit begins to take hold of him.

 What are the symptoms of fear of exams:

Symptoms range from simple anxiety to panic attacks and in rare cases, the students may resort to the extreme step of committing suicide.

We can classify symptoms in 3 parts.

1. Physical Symptoms: Physical symptoms are the first manifestation of anxiety neurosis.

Symptoms include, heavy sweating, giddiness, diarrhea, short of breathe, palpitation and butterflies in the stomach, and dry mouth.

2. Emotional Symptoms: Feelings of anger,  hatred, disappointment,helplessness, loneliness and loss of confidence are some of the emotional symptoms.

3.Cognitive and Behavioural symptoms: Finding tough to understand the subject, negative thinking, difficulty in concentration, inability to recall the subject.

During my college days, some of my studious friends, who meticulously planned & prepared (even during my PG course) for the examination much in advance had either scored less marks or flunked in the exams. The obvious reason was mental pressure which they couldn't cope with, they lost self-confidence and miserably failed to perform in the exam.

Students undergo tremendous tension in the exam hall, they perspire a lot, when writing the answer their hands' tremor and vision becomes hazy, sometimes negative thoughts flood the minds. Imagination runs riot on the possibility of getting tough questions and subsequent consequences. When the question paper is received, it appears like a death warrant.  All these symptoms ultimately take a toll on the students.

The above symptoms add up to distress and bring down the student’s confidence level. So, it’s time for us to look seriously at some tangible solutions to come out of fear and perform better.

 

a.       Physical preparation:

Being physically fit is an important aspect to keep your energy level high. A fragile & sick body is a big hindrance to performance. It’s imperative to focus and work on your health:  Follow a good diet regime, sleep adequately, and do small stretching exercises to increase   flexibility and tone up the  muscles. Exercise  ensures a continuous flow of positive energy to the brain. Regular exercises help in releasing good hormones and keep your mood elevated.

 b. Mental Preparation:

“A sound mind resides in a sound body”. Now it’s time to take care of our mind.

Mind is a powerful tool, it can do wonderful things provided you learn how to harness and use it to your advantage. Mind is susceptible to suggestions whether positive or negative it creates a lasting impression.

We need to feed our mind with positive suggestions through affirmation: like, I am confident, I am capable,  I am not stressed, I will score good marks. Keep feeding your mind and see the magic.

Avoid stress:  Identify the cause of stress and work on it.  Example: Your effort to score better marks than one of your friends (Secretly harbor in your heart) causes stress, the effect is, you frequently forget or fail to recall the subject.

Action point: Work on reducing stress by doing meditation and breathing exercises, which help in calming your mind and enhances your memory. Work on solving puzzles which increases your grasping ability and concentration. Find ways to beat the competition. 

                     c. Study Preparation:

“Plan your work and workout your plan” should be the motto.

We are good at planning but when it comes to putting it in action we fail miserably

Few tips below may help you to plan and execute without much stress.

      a)   Make a realistic time table well before the exam.
b)   Devote each day to cover all the subjects.
c)   Identify which subject you need to improve and focus more on it.
d)  Try to solve the previous year's question papers.
e)  Pick the right time for your studies, for some early morning suits better and they can concentrate, for some late-night study suits, however, make sure you get adequate sleep.
f)   Make brief notes and highlight the points in the highlighter, these points help you during revision.
g)  Ask for help in case if you are unable to focus or understand the subject.
h)  Rule 2-2-2 should work better: Study two times, Write two times and Revise two times.( SWR -rule works better with ration 2-2-2. However, you can be flexible as per your convenience)

This sums up the exam fear. Just want to reiterate once again as a parting note. Society, parents and teachers play a pivotal role in molding child’s future and hence you need to be careful in your words and actions.  Inspire..Encourage and Empower them.

“If you are planning for a year sow a rice: if you are planning for a decade sow a tree: if you are planning for  a lifetime educate people”.