Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
– by Soha Kala
August 21, 2017 : When I was growing up, my parents always told me that I am the ‘smartest kid’ they had ever met. My friends thought I had an appealing face and for my grandparents and their friends, I had the prettiest heart.
I was curious and had questions about the world I was growing in. I had ideas that could have solved problems I encountered in my life. I could hold interesting conversations, and charm people with my compassion.
But I did not live up to my potential. There was always something holding me back.
For the longest period that I can remember, I did not believe that I could do most of the things I wanted to do.
I wanted to learn the ballet but I felt I would not be able to perform with my extra kilos and would be reduced to a laughing stock.
I wanted to be a writer but I felt my expression was too weak and my thoughts far too amateur to share with another person.
I wanted to be in a relationship but I felt I was not good enough to have somebody interested in me.
At one point or the other, we all question ourselves, which is usually followed by self-doubt.
Am I doing enough?
Am I making enough money?
Am I successful?
Am I good looking?
A major part of my job today is spent fiddling with an application called Google Adwords. So, this morning, as I sat with my mind clouded with questions and a new story to write, I decided to begin with a search in the application. I quickly punched in the words self esteem and happy.
I discovered that about 1-10 million people search for the word ‘happy’ every month whereas just over 100K search for the word self-esteem in a month
(Alternatively, I also searched for ‘Beatles band’ and found only over 1,000 people search for them every month)
Everybody has a loving family, a few friends who care, somebody to talk to; we all have classes to attend, and work to do in our respective lives; TV shows to watch and places to go to. Why then are 10 million people still searching for ‘happiness’ on the internet?
The problem in not with us, but inside us. It lies in our belief in our own self.
Low self esteem restricts you from recognizing your potential and living your life to the fullest. Irrespective of how hard you work or how far you push yourself, your efforts fail to be fruitful.
As a teenager, I used to think I was not pretty enough. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not fair enough. I used to believe that I was just that; NOT ENOUGH.
All of this because I struggled to accept myself; I failed to forgive myself whenever I did something wrong, not realizing how hard I was being on myself. I worked harder and harder but was always one-mistake away from success – the fault was never in my efforts, but in my attitude. Changing my attitude about life and about me played a key role in developing my confidence that was no longer dependent on any worldly sign of success.
In the process of owning up to be the person that I am today, I discovered 7 concepts that I was struggling with. Over the years, I tried to re-examine and re-discover my own self-limiting beliefs and alter the way I interpreted these concepts. Working upon them helped me instill faith in my own self and boost my confidence,
Do you ever get distracted while doing some work by that little voice inside your head telling you you are not good enough? Do you fear beginning something new because you are uncertain of yourself? Do you choose to give up on some activities because you fear you might not do them correctly?
Because I have done that, too.
I have been so unsure of myself in the past, wanting to be so much but terrified to start because I feared making mistakes. It was because of this fear that instead of talking to people and working on myself, I chose to shut myself down completely. I was so afraid of being rejected that I decided to reject opportunities and people first. That is how I let go of tremendous opportunities to learn new things and meet unique people.
I have now grown to believe that man makes mistakes, and those mistakes in turn make man.
It is a continuous cycle. One can only learn when he knows what he is doing wrong. You can either choose to traumatize yourself over failure, or allow yourself to make mistakes and instead of looking at them as disappointments, embrace them as opportunities to grow.
As a kid, I remember falling off a bicycle because I told me friends that I knew how to ride a bike when I obviously didn’t. I was an anxious kid who worried that people would judge me if I told them that I didn’t know something.
You can only fool some people some time, not all people all the time. Above that, you cannot fool yourself. When people find out that you had been pretending all along, that can possibly shatter your confidence and relationships like nothing else.
In order to have a healthier self-esteem, you must first accept that nobody knows everything, and not everybody is good at everything. You might be a good writer, but that doesn’t mean you will necessarily be a good orator. Stop being pretentious in an attempt to please others.
It may be one of the hardest things to do; you may feel exposed and vulnerable to let go of your inhibitions and show your authentic self to the world, you may even feel feeble for some time, but it will be your first step on the path to resumption and growth.
As a teenager, I lived in a perpetual state of fear and self-doubt; I doubted myself to the extent that I was always doing things that others wanted me to do, rather than taking decisions for my own self.
It has been rightly said that you live the life you create. Hence, you must also believe in your capacity to make changes. Believing in your competence does not happen overnight, and it does not happen naturally. A good start would be to list down your strengths and weaknesses and then work on them.
If someone criticizes you, see it as a chance for you to improve. If someone does better than you, take it as an opportunity to learn from their action. Do not let these experiences shake your trust in your own self.
Take 100% responsibility for your actions. Do not let things happen to you, instead make things happen for you.
You are bound to make mistakes and let people down; do not fear that. Quit making excuses when that happens, and accept failures as an outcome of your own actions. Do not indulge in self-loathing and be open to accept responsibility when you are at fault. I have grown to maintain a ‘I am sorry, how can I fix this?’ attitude and that has been incredibly beneficial to my confidence.
It might seem hard initially, but confidence stems from an understanding that YOU are doing the right thing.
One mantra that I believe in with all my heart is – Either do something. Or completely quit thinking about it. Stop second-guessing and devoting extended amount of time to the ‘what-ifs’.
If you want to paint, pick up a paper, some brushes, and a color palette and draw what your heart desires. If you want to learn a sport or a dance form, enroll yourself in a class and enjoy every session you attend. Don’t worry if it will turn out good. Don’t worry whether you have any previous knowledge about your new interest. Don’t worry about what people will think. Don’t worry if you will be better than your friends or your colleagues. Just immerse yourself in the moment, and move on.
Worrying about what others think of you or seeking confirmations for your actions will only keep you from doing something good for yourself.
Your self-esteem is a measure of what YOU think about yourself and how worthy YOU think you are. Do not look for external affirmations. Set expectations for yourself, fulfill them for YOURself, and be somebody you can be proud of.
I realized that I doubt myself the most when I compare my life with what other people are doing.
In order to have a healthier self-esteem, you have to understand what works for you and what makes you feel good even if it is different from what someone else desires. No two things can be similar, and that goes for life, as well.
I realized that I was continuously (and blindly) chasing targets- I wanted to score better than my friends in the exams, have a better job than they do, find a bigger house than theirs, have a smarter partner. In an attempt to come first in this rat-race, I forget how hard I was being on myself.
Practicing self-compassion is not as difficult as you may perceive. I can break it down to a two-way process,
- Care about yourself and be kind instead of being cruelly self-critical
- Do not exaggerate or ignore problems or your mistakes, and look at them with a clear mind.
An important step to develop confidence in yourself is to be kinder to your own self. Remind yourself that you’re doing your best, and even when that may not seem enough, tell yourself that you are willing to learn. Surround yourself with compassionate voices, and your own voice should be in that list – make sure that instead of being extremely critical and judgmental of your actions, you are highly receptive and appreciative of your efforts.
I know today that I am not perfect, and I do not even have to try to be that. Perfection to me is a myth. I am far from perfect but I am happy. You can be too.
Be human, and that should be enough.
And above all, hold on to the thought that you are capable.
NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
Click here- www.newsgram.com/donate
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India