Changing My Self Image
You Can Do It!
"You can do it!" This is a powerful phrase, and I didn’t believe it until I passed the age of twenty and began taking the steps that would lead me to overcome my anxiety. I still couldn’t remember who planted that feeling that I looked dark and ugly, but I held on to it for more than 18 years of my life:
Whenever I used to look at the mirror, I always looked for flaws and felt terrible about myself, so through this I developed an inferiority complex that grew stronger as I became shy, avoided any stage-like events, and even stopped going out during my college years - Overcoming depression and anxiety would prove to be one of my greatest personal challenges. Nothing seemed to be important to me, I didn’t think about my the future, and I failed to recognize and affirm my unique skills - Actually I was convinced that I was completely unworthy. During this first period of my life the only thoughts which were in my mind were the thoughts that I was not beautiful like other girls; I was plumb-skinned, dark, and ugly.
Once I had completed my bachelor’s degree I was clueless about what my next step would be or what I was going to do with my life. However, it was during this period of time that a movie had been released in my home of South India, which was very popular - Every alley and street-way was blasting with blockbuster songs from this popular new film. Through the whole time that I heard the music from this new film I had never seen a poster displaying the images of the actors, so I didn’t give too much thought to its contents, but I was shocked to see the song playing on television, because I was expecting a dark, handsome, and a well-built man to play the Hero, but the guy in this blockbuster hit of the year was as thin as pencil, dark-skinned, and definitely not handsome. How come? What in the world was going on here? The media industry is only meant for extraordinarily beautiful people right? All these questions led me to research this person, and I learned that he was a high-school dropout and had performed in a few films before which had been fairly successful in the past. I purchased his movies on disc and watched all of his previous films, where the most inspiring attribute about this rising star was his confidence - He didn’t care about anything people thought about him. He simply gave his best and achieved success in the glamorous movie industry, which led me to believe that overcoming anxiety was possible.
This person truly inspired me when I saw that he could succeed in an Industry where appearance plays such an important role in success, so I thought that I may as well have a shot at success as well – Why not? During this time I happened to sit down and think about my life, and I took time to write down the types of jobs that I would be skilled with, the things I enjoyed doing, etc. Meanwhile I enrolled in a Placement Training Program that was organized by my college for outgoing students to enhance their soft skills and help us to prepare for the job interviews ahead. I had no idea that this program was about to change my life. For the first time in my life I developed confidence (To tell the truth I actually tried to hide my fear at first). It was a five day program, and from day one I spoke to everyone in the program, sincerely concentrated on the class, and to my surprise I loved talking to everyone, my aptitude for problem solving was strong, and during our group discussions I realised that I was well aware of current events and was successful at each stage of the program. The day before the last day of the program, the trainer asked each one of us to give a public speech on a topic of our choice. I was of two minds in this regard – On the one hand I wanted to speak before a group, and on the other hand I wanted to sit tight and remain quiet. However, I overcame my fears and I held that young actor in my mind as I spoke before everyone on a current events topic. Immediately after I completed my talk, my trainer asked my fellow classmates to provide me with feedback about my talk, and many said that I had a good voice, my body language was persuasive, and I appeared be quite confident. A few classmates also pointed out my mistakes, but they were very helpful and supportive in the process. At the end of my presentation they clapped for me, and although it may sound dramatic, I felt that I had broken through my limiting beliefs about myself and cried tears of happiness and freedom as a result of my breakthrough and finally overcoming anxiety.
For the next few days I studied my personality traits and decided that I wanted to become a personal trainer, because if one college trainer could help to bring me out of my shell, how many I could I help? The most significant reason behind this decision was that I loved doing it. The following years were very exciting as I passed the MBA entrance exam with flying colors, earned my MBA with distinction, and have since joined a training company and provided training to more than 2,000 students thus far. I plan to continue to do this for the rest of my life. Now every time that I look into my mirror, I admire myself for a few seconds and feel happy about how I look, because this is who I am, and this is the face thousands of students love and become inspired through simply meeting me.
Meanwhile the actor who had inspired me has also grown drastically as he has received a national award for his acting in India, has crossed the border and acted in north Indian film and continued to move forward in his career. Recently I saw his YouTube video which shows him receiving a famous award for his performance in a North Indian Film. This guy never fails to inspire me, and I often reflect upon how his works led me to begin overcoming anxiety in my life.
Everything is in our hands!
So guys - People may make you feel inferior through their words and actions as they try to prove that we are unfit for anything, but they have nothing to do with the reality of how we can choose to live our lives. Here is a quote from a positive thinking book that I love (Think and Grow Rich) “You are never defeated unit you accept the image of defeat”. Everything is in our hands, believe in yourself, study yourself, do what you enjoy, give your best and leave the rest.
Author: Anonymous Contributor
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