Youth Counselling

I feel I cannot achieve anything in life

I am studying in Std IX. Earlier, I used to be good in studies, but nowadays I’m unable to concentrate. Whenever I sit down to study I start thinking about friends, parents and my future. I feel as if I cannot achieve anything in life. I have started to think negatively and my confidence level is down.
Jasmita (16)

Dear Jasmita,

You sound quite despondent that you are distracted, have lost your motivation for studies, as well as your confidence. You’re also worried about your future.

To feel motivated, first set a meaningful study goal — this can be a weekly or a daily goal. A daily goal can cover achieving three things that you decide to complete for that day. A weekly goal can be: ‘By the end of this week, I have mastered (score >80% on a test) all the topics that I decided to study this week.’ (List those topics), or ‘I have clarified all doubts about the topics that have been taught this week.’

To get the zing back into studies, set a broad routine which includes beginning the day with some brain boosting exercise. Change the time, the place and the method of study! Study with focus in 25-minute slots where you silence all distractions — the quality of learning matters, not quantity! Reward yourself with a 5- to 10- minute break by doing something relaxing or which you like (except technology!). Then go back to another 25-minute slot. Four or five such slots should help you cover your study target for the day. Revise at regular intervals and solve papers.

Instead of you only zing and listening, get involved in doing something — create your own question papers, draw, make diagrams and notes. Use humour — you won’t forget what you study! Teach a friend — this one is power packed.

And, when you get yourself on track, consult a career counsellor. Having a career goal will make your study goals even more meaningful. Do focus on the satisfaction you get when you achieve your daily goals.

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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.

Nasreen Hashambhoy

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.