Me: “I am feeling so low today. There is so much competition out there in the world. I feel I am not worth anything.”
Roomie (visibly panicked) : “ What happened ? Are the mid-sems result out? ”
Me : “No! It’s just that I don’t know what I am doing with my life.”
Roomie: “ Why are you in a brown study today ? ” Don’t tell me you have completed the entire Supernatural series and have no more episodes to watch. The ‘Sherlock’ episode has come out. You can watch that.”
Me : “ I am serious. I am 20 now and I am just not satisfied with what I am today. I feel worthless.”
Oh! by the way, I did complete the Supernatural series, and I have put the ‘Sherlock’ episode on download.
That’s not the point. I think I don’t have the qualities to be a successful person in life. How will I fulfill my aspirations when I am not even confident enough about my abilities and strengths? Forget the aspirations, I don’t even feel good as a human being !!”
Roomie (in a saturnine tone) : “Well, I am on the same page with you ! Indeed there are so much expectations and hopes with one’s life that I am scared and afraid of facing the world after college. I want to live a happy and successful life and the fear of failure haunts me everyday.”
Me (histrionically) : “Am I ever going to cheer up ?? Will I ever regain my confidence? Am I good for anything? Oh, how I wish someone could bring me back to life !
Roomie: Don’t lose heart! Ok, Let’s do one thing. Let’s play a game so that we can both cheer up and regain the lost confidence.
Me: What game?
Roomie : You list one strength/ admirable quality that I have , and then I will list yours. We will keep rotating the turns. But no exaggeration and pretense ! You don’t have to flatter me. It should be genuine.
Me: Will that work?
Roomie : I have not tried, but let’s check !
And man did it work! By the end of a 15 minute-long session, alternatively admiring the other person and hearing words of praise for yourself, the mood was lifted , the missing confidence regained and a lesson was learnt.
The account dates back to my college days and is one of the most vivid moments that I shared with my room-mate. That day, we learnt two things:
- Admiration lifts our mood and helps us regain confidence. So that day we promised to each other that if ever, either of us feels low or disheartened or worthless in life, the other would come to the rescue – not only to shower admiration on the gloomy friend and cheer her up, but also to make her see the beauty in the world by making her to praise the former.
- A girl understands a fellow girl’s mindset so well! 🙂
From that day, it was a secret we both had kept to ourselves, until this day when I am letting the cat out of the bag. We even gave a name to the game – ‘Mutual Admiration Sessions’.
Well the game was a stroke of serendipity, but can it not be extrapolated to our life ?
During the course of the journey we call life, we often come across predicaments which tend to shatter our confidence in our own being. Our worth becomes a blurred image and we tend to question the correctness of every decision we take, owing to the failures we encountered in the past or harbingers of discouragement we came across. Ideally, our conscience should remind us of the accomplishments we have achieved in the past and the greater heights we are capable of reaching in future – we know it as self-confidence. But at certain times, our conscience ceases to communicate and gets buried under a thick cover of apprehensions and doubt. We need an external agent to lift that cover and show us a picture of what truly we are capable.
The endeavor should not be equated to chest thumping – the intention is not to get blinded by the admiring words showered upon by the ‘mutual admiring partner’. That’s why, it is mutual. You will hear praise for yourself, but you will also have to point out qualities that you admire in your fellow participant. It will negate the probability of getting lost in narcissism. Eventually, when the cover is lifted, your mood will be lifted along with your confidence.
I also believe that some people will find it silly and childish and immature.
When somebody is depressed and low, and has lost all the trust and faith on oneself and one’s capabilities, how can such a stupid game help?
My answer to all those people:
You have been serious all your life. Try being silly for a change !
It might work for you, it might not ! I give no guarantee. But at least it will be worth a try.
Well, it helped me and my roomie ! 🙂