I’m a student of class 11. My interaction skill with boys, teachers or strangers is disgusting; I don’t know why I try to avoid them. I love dancing and people say that I dance well but when it comes to dancing before people I can’t, my legs start to shake. I have the same problem when speaking or singing in public. I compare myself with my friends; how they score better than me even after not paying attention in class and even bunking classes. I know that I’m the only one who can make myself better but I don’t know how to do it. I’m never motivated enough to change myself.
It sounds like you feel very tongue-tied and shy and experience stage fright in front of people. It looks like you don’t value yourself or believe in yourself. Since you know that you are the only one who can make yourself better, you’re off to a good start!
How about a dose of self-appreciation each morning? Look into the mirror and appreciate one thing about yourself, however small. Write it down too. By the end of two weeks, you will realise that you are unique and that it is pointless to compare yourself with someone else!
Change happens with small steps and regular practice. You could perhaps start by rehearsing a dance or a speech in front of a mirror. Then video-record yourself or perform in front of a trusted friend and ask for feedback. Then try it in front of a small group. Finally, take the risk of joining a dance or an elocution competition in your school/college.
As for your personal interaction skills, making a conversation is about starting with small talk — the weather, an event, and so on, and then about getting others to talk — so master the art of asking open-ended questions. You could pick up a book on conversation skills such as How To Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes and practise in the same manner as your dance/speech.
Change is a choice that you make each moment. So, make each experience one to learn from and grow, so that you live life fully!
Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.