Being in school and college is one of the most stressful times in our lives because in an attempt to goad us to do better all our loved ones will push us to work harder and harder. Sometimes it might feel as if you will never meet their expectations and perform to the level they wish to see you succeed. You may then end up feeling like you are always running from one goalpost to the next and yet not successful. Many of us make the mistake of benchmarking our sense of accomplishment so high that somehow we can never reach it or by the time we reach that milestone we have already set ourselves a higher and higher goal. Spiralling into a cycle of hard work, but no sense of completion or accomplishment can result very often in low self-esteem. Not because you are not working hard, or working successfully but because nobody can ever reach the benchmark you or your loved ones have set for you.
To avoid feeling like a low grade worker bee it is important to be periodically “present” to our achievements. Success, for instance, is defined as attaining a favourable outcome. An outcome on the other hand is a measurable tangible consequence of an action given the circumstances an action is performed in. Thus to gauge our own success and build self-esteem we need to benchmark it to a realistic measurable outcome. Once we do that we are able to nourish our self-image, feel good about ourselves and move to the next goal in a more capable frame of mind.
Shivani Manchanda, a post-graduate in Counselling from the USA, is a warm and vibrant counsellor. Her expertise lies in counselling students on career development, stress prevention and international education. She is an enthusiastic speaker with over two decades of experience.