I was a vivacious little girl and was on stage a lot for events, activities and enjoyed every bit the attention I got. Then I joined a convent school where there were too many of us and suddenly I was this girl who was just ‘cute’, not smart, not studious, not the bubbly girl, active athlete I was before nor the dancer or the actor participating in a variety of school events. Was I trying to fit in and be popular and be liked? Was it because I was aware of the difficulties with which my parents sent me to the boarding school? Was it my own growing consciousness of my body as a teenager? I do not know.But some things changed so drastically that I withdrew into a shell and stayed there for a long time, until motherhood and teaching liberated me. So many golden years wasted in lack of self-esteem, confidence and so much more. This did have a very adverse impact on the way my life shaped up. I know today where it all started and how it continued but that I leave for another day.
This extremely conscious and shy and unsure sort of person that I was did give importance to everything, everything ever said about me. There were not many good things or I thought so, and I did struggle a lot within myself.
When I look back, I wish to whisper into that little girl’s ears the secret I found many years later to putting people and what they say where they should belong and moving on. As a teacher and trainer, my constant effort is to remind the young of the power they hold within themselves, let no one dare dampen their innate enthusiasm and energy for great possibilities in life.
I was perhaps practicing it to some extent but when I read about the two circles- the circle of influence and the circle of concern in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it became so crystal clear to me and made my life so much more easier.
Well, it is simple, you see, all you have to do when you hear a not so great comment or opinion about you or what you do is think of the two circles -of influence and of concern-and decide where would this particular comment/opinion/situation go- if it comes under your circle of influence -meaning if it is something you can still work on and improve -take it positively and work on it- you will see the difference.
If on the other hand, it is something that falls under your circle of concern- like your aunt’s dislike for you- clearly there is nothing you can do about it- so leave it at that. Forget it, bury it and move on. You will see the difference.
After all you get to decide who matters in your life. Never lose that power of discretion.
A slight against you, a smirk, a jeer, a taunt is all welcome, now that you know where to put it. Again ask yourself does this person, this event, this comment hold any relevance for 5 years from now? If it doesn’t, walk ahead, forget and move on.
What a waste of our life is it to fizzle it out in response to an idiot’s remark-the idiot could be your boss, your spouse, your neighbor, parent or any body who does not see worth in you.
Kishore Kumar sang in the film,Amar Prem, a Rajesh Khanna-Sharmila Tagore starrer-
” Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna, chodo bekar ki batein mein, kahi beet na jaye rahna” meaning it is for the people to speak something or the other about you, it’s not worth wasting your life over it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVwEqLdYjeM
Remember when you have proven your worth to yourself, the world will sit up and notice and if it doesn’t it is they who lose, not you!
Go on then guard your confidence yourself, don’t give away the keys to others!