I have lost my confidence

I am an 11th standard student. My problem is that I just can’t study properly. When I start studying I get carried away by thoughts of different things. My teachers say that I am a bright student, and I used to be so till class 10. After that I fell into bad company and it ruined my life. I have lost my confidence, and am unable to make proper decisions. Please help me out.
Sheetal (16)

Dear Sheetal,

Sounds like you’re quite upset that your earlier decisions led you to a loss of confidence and lack of focus. Interestingly, you seem to have made the ‘proper decision’ to change. So take heart and get started with it!

If you haven’t already, do give up the bad company. Being on your own is better than being with people who cause you to lose focus on your dreams and goals. And, set that goal — what is it that you want to become or do after you finish your studies? Draw and put it up on the wall at home. Let it pull you and make you feel excited to achieve it. It will make you start focusing on your studies.

To maintain focus, use the 25-minute study technique. Agree to put in quality study for 25-minutes such that you remember what you learn. Shut out all outside distractions. If thoughts come, acknowledge them, and then remind yourself to go back to your studies because of the goal put up on your wall. If thoughts are too many, keep a thought journal and write them down. Then go back to studies. Reward yourself by taking a 5-minute break in which you do something you love — except technology or reading (thinking stuff). Do 4 cycles — 25-5-25-10 then 25-5-25-long break.

Meanwhile, exercise and take up one hobby. And slowly, once you’re back on track with studies, focus on supportive friendships. Your confidence will return. Good luck!

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.