November 2018 - Nelumbo Consultancy

Finding Confidence in Social Situations: It’s Childsplay | Part 1

Do social interactions really need to be as difficult as some people think? For a growing proportion of our society, a lack of confidence in social situations is an everyday reality. Periods of low self confidence are experienced by most people at some point in their lives, and one manifestation of this is social anxiety.

The emotional turmoil of finding yourself stuck in an environment with people you don’t know, not knowing what to say without embarrassing yourself, but increasingly conscious of the awkward silence – it’s the stuff that nightmares are made of! Overcoming that first hurdle and having the confidence to put yourself out there, to start up a conversation, can be a daunting concept. But take a moment to learn from this young man, who through sharing his passion, opened up a new world.

“Putting yourself out there takes courage, but believing you have something worthwhile to say makes it so much easier.”

Nine year old Alex* receives regular tutoring for his English and Maths. Alex is mildly autistic which, in his case, makes it difficult to focus on topics which don’t interest him. He’s fallen behind his classmates in these two core subjects, and his confidence has plummeted with his test scores. Alex also struggles to form friendships as he is uncomfortable in social situations.

Alex may lack knowledge in English and Mathematics, but he knows more about planes than anyone you’re likely to meet. He can identify a low flying plane and give you its model and country of manufacture without missing a beat. Planes are Alex’s passion. Do you remember having that passion as a child? Whether it was dinosaurs, a football team, a now-embarrassing glam-rock band, we all had something that we knew about inside-out and enjoyed sharing with others. Take a moment to mentally pinpoint one of your passsions, past or current – we’ll come back to it.

So, very quickly after meeting Alex we learned about his adoration for all things aeronautical. By harnessing this passion, we were able to work with Alex in a way that he could truly enjoy (you wouldn’t believe what a difference it made just changing ‘oranges’ to ‘passengers’ in a math equation). Not only is Alex’s math and english improving now that it is being taught in collaboration with a subject he is interested in, but his confidence is improving too.

Last week Alex made his first real connection to another child since the school year began. Seeing a child in his class reading a transport book, he had the courage to share his knowledge on planes, engaging the other child in conversation. They already have a playdate lined up for the weekend.

But you see, while social interactions can be genuinely scary for us as adults, there’s no reason we can’t take a page from Alex’s book and turn communicating with each other into childsplay. You may feel as if you’ve lost the passion you once had as a child, but I guarantee you that it’s still there. Whether it’s a book, TV series, or something you’ve been reading about in the news, find something you feel you can speak about with confidence and then look for an opportunity this week to discuss it with someone outside of your comfort zone. Ask that woman ahead of you in the queue at the cafe whether her book is any good. Remark on how terrible that radio news bulletin was to the other person in the waiting room. What is the worst that can happen?

Putting yourself out there takes courage, but believing you have something worthwhile to say makes it so much easier. Yes, perhaps you’ll be met with a blank stare, other people are awkward too. But maybe that moment of bravery will result in a stimulating conversation, a moment shared between strangers; or who knows, maybe you’ll even be arranging a playdate of your own.

If you think you’d benefit from professional support in tackling your social anxiety, call Nelumbo Consultancy today to speak to one of our team.

*not his real name

Let’s Meet Again With Yourself

When you meet life half way only and consider it a difficult task to be able to experience it fully, you also fail at meeting with your own self completely. But what does it even mean to be living an incomplete life? What does meeting yourself mean, is that an actual thing or just an expression? Aren’t you just you, who is always with yourself, then how can one constantly be with oneself and not be able to meet? Well as logically confusing this may sound, it actually makes philosophically logical sense if you look into it, so let’s talk about it today, let us talk about life, about unfulfilled dreams and explore the depths of our inner horizons to see if losing self is even a possibility at all.

Self-Discovery

Ever since I was a kid, I have wondered how others see me from the outside. I have wondered what it would be like to be perfect and achieve complete contentment. Because superman was my hero I always saw him as a figure who just does not make mistakes and he’s happy because he’s perfect and powerful. It’s interesting how these childhood inspirations make us want to live up to the image, thus the desire of wanting perfection and contentment. That’s where I began, I used to go around asking friends, family even my teachers questions about me. I would ask them how do they see me, my habits, behavior, their likes and dislikes about me, so I can then compare it with the characteristics list I had with me on Superman. How did that help me? Well, of course, I didn’t learn to fly or become more powerful than a locomotive (all in good time I hope) but what did become was self-aware, self-effacing and learned how to consciously live with my choices actions and even thoughts. I was able to make mistakes but still be aware to accept it so I could fix it, at a very young age I learned how accepting reality helps you in fixing problems. You can’t possibly fix something you do not accept as a problem.

Knowing Others

This attitude not only made me aware of my faults as well as my uniqueness but also helped me see other people for who they are. I learned, living in this self-awareness was self-discovery, a journey that is never ending as you are always more than you think of you. As Lao Tzu says, “one who knows others is wise but the one who knows himself is enlightened.”

Enlightenment does not just sprout from theory, reading, learning and talking about yourself but you have to do the work, you need to put in the effort to bring out the best version of you that is what being enlightened means. This is how I met me, by trying to find me, make and remake me. I understood that most of us are living in no form of self-awareness. Most do not want to put in the effort on the inner-selves because that internal work seems unreachable and nobody teaches us how to do it, how to achieve it or why is it necessary? For the same reason, it seems more cognitively recognizable to people to pursue the unrealistic standards of perfection by working on the materialistic aspect of our lives, how to earn more, how to have more, how to look more good-looking, more educated more of everything outside. Then how can you expect to meet yourself if you don’t know yourself and don’t know that you need you, before anyone else?

Social Conditioning and Breaking Through

Media and society have always been setting a perfect outside world goal for people because it brings them business by challenging and feeding on people’s weaknesses, so why would they be interested in making one strong and help them walk the road of self-enlightenment? But now that you know this, can you go back from it? Ones your eyes are open you cannot un-see or unlearn what you have learned so why don’t you start today by making yourself your priority. Treat yourself, love yourself, take care of yourself and most of all monitor yourself. All those dreams you once had which now seem like a far-fetched idea why don’t you start with digging them up again and work on finding the best route to your true self. When you go where your heart takes you, is exactly what you find as your soul’s true calling, for the soul’s purpose is hidden in your dreams and the desire to follow it is spoken through your heart.

Break through the social conditioning and the self-limiting belief that you cannot live the life you once dreamt off. Come, connect with one of our  psychologist or counsellor today to help you in your journey to meet with yourself and find yourself to never lose again.

Contact us now to schedule a consultation.
We can support you to find your purpose in life.

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