Wednesday, January 30, 2013

#Self Esteem

Stated in simple terms--self esteem is the opinion you have of yourself--your worthiness,strengths,defects & the dignity which you think you deserve from others.A healthy self esteem is a potent weapon which will assist you to meet life's challenges & come out on top.But a deviation from it does not augur well for the person.Broadly speaking,self esteem could be of three kinds:
1) Healthy
2) High
3) Low

Healthy Self Esteem
A person having healthy self esteem is fully aware of his caliber & weaknesses.He is confident of his ability to solve any problem which may obstruct his path.Difficulties or failures do not stump him.He springs back with new hope & strategies.He abides by his principles & knows that he commands respect.Even disregard or disrespect from someone will influence him only momentarily because he has firm faith in his own merit.He can bounce back after a down-fall.He enjoys strong & rewarding relationships,because he gives equal respect to others.

High Self Esteem
This person thinks the world of himself.You could call him a narcissist.He holds an exaggerated view of his personality,his charm,his abilities & his importance on this globe.He cannot tolerate criticism.Since he always overestimates his own acumen & ability,he often falls flat on his face but the blame will always be laid at someone else's door.He is likely to face many disillusionments in life but you won't catch him admitting it.Since he looks down upon others,he fails to forge strong relationships.

Low Self Esteem
As a child grows up, some of his acts are appreciated by the people around him,while some others are rejected as being bad,immoral or distasteful.The child forms an image of himself on basis of these approvals & chidings--this is his self image.Simultaneously he also constructs a picture of how he is expected to be--this is the ideal image.If there is a lot of discrepancy between the two, low self esteem will result.The parents may not always be right--they may  be too strict,uptight,prudish or even unlawful & selfish.But the ideal image grasped by the kid stays with him,as does his dejection at not meeting the norms.The child's self image could relate to his appearance,intelligence,attitudes,emotions,abilities,strengths,faults & his perceptions.

If his inferiority complex is related to his appearance then steps can be taken to rectify the drawbacks wherever possible.For example one could get into shape,take care to be neat & clean & dress appropriately.

This is easy.But changes are challenging when you are required to modify your personality traits & habits learnt over the years.Self image is a very nebulous concept--so many vague,fluctuating thoughts & perceptions coalsce to compose it.Each & every demeaning thought has to be handled & set right.It becomes doubly taxing if you base your self concept upon others' reactions or responses.The other person may not necessarily be a positive human.He may have his own reasons for pulling you down.If you construct your image according to others' reactions or responses to you, then you can never be at peace.It is essential to replace old coping strategies with new ones in order to attain a healthy self esteem.Here are some suggestions:

1) Learn to put your own self ahead of others & say adieu to people pleasing.Take care that you do not become obnoxious in the process!

2) Get rid of your favorite hobby--criticizing yourself for every mistake.Even the well known high achievers made plenty of mistakes before they succeeded.

3) Do not be hyper sensitive to others' criticism.

4) The fear of making mistakes may hold you back from trying anything new or difficult,but how will you achieve something remarkable if you desist from trying?Go for it,and if you fail,go again!

5) Forsake those feelings of guilt which you nurse in your heart.After all, you did not start a world war did you?

6) Whenever you come face-to-face with a crisis or a tough choice,cogitate over all the pros & cons and then take your  own decision.You took all factors into consideration;therefore there is no need to be apprehensive or fearful of the outcome.

7) Do not ask others for advice.

8) Rely on your own resources as far as possible.If it is essential to ask for help do it without being obsequious.

9) Never allow anyone to discourage you.

10) Take care that no one manipulates or uses you.You were unsure & vulnerable till now & this must have given people wrong ideas.Put an end to this trend.

Improving upon the psychological aspects of a bad self concept is fine but it is only half the battle won if you dislike certain facets of your personality which are mainly responsible for your low self esteem.Of course none of us is perfect but if something is eating at your self confidence it ought to be removed.Unless & until you get rid of the elements which drag you down,you cannot hope to achieve a healthy self image.Therefore:

1) If you find that you are not well informed about the happenings in the world & hence cannot join in a discussion;take steps to rectify this.

2) In case you are not doing well at your job,upgrade your skills & knowledge.

3) If you feel alone & left out of groups & gatherings,make conscious efforts to meet people half way--or full way if need be.After all you are the one who needs companionship.

4) Do you admire a particular quality in someone?It could be a simple thing like being punctual,following a healthy routine or vocalizing your thoughts.Cultivate this habit so that you feel better about yourself.

5)Last but not the least--indulge in activities you consider respectable if you want to earn your own respect.If you are straight & honest in your dealings nobody can shake your faith in yourself.

When you are happy in your skin, self doubt & pessimism will give way to a cheerful outlook,attracting people to this new you.Old ties will improve & new ones will be formed.Freedom from self-imposed restrictions will open up a new vista for greater achievements because:

"If we did all the things we are capable of doing,we would literally astound ourselves"Thomas A Edison.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Zodiac Sign Cancer

It must have been a Cancer who first developed the concept of home and family because this tribe is exceedingly attached to both.Guys if you are looking for a home-maker,a loving partner & a sensitive human being, go look for a cancer.She will make a cozy harmonious nest for you.Something of a martyr-she is capable of sidelining her own desires for the sake of her family.She is a die-hard romantic & very emotional.She will conserve every little bit of memorabilia---give her a huge cabinet to store them.Loyal,patient,tenacious & dependable--what more could a guy want?

But wait!This is a water sign,ruled by moon.Moon's phases can be predicted,but not the cancer's moods.They are changeable like a chameleon.The slightest slight from you & she could go into one of her moods.Sometimes it is impossible to fathom why she is so gloomy at a given moment,because her feelings need not always be grounded in reality--she lives a lot in her mind.By the way cancer means crab in Greek!
Hard on the outside,but tender underneath?Actually she is very thin-skinned & highly impressionable.You can well imagine the outcome.Her kin will have to work hard to ken her moods.

Let us look at the brighter side.This timid,conservative angel has a heart of gold.It beats not only for her family,but for anyone in distress.She is a fine friend to have--and keep.The glitzy scene of parties does not charm her as much as a quiet evening at home with family & close friends.Just as water takes on the shape of a container,she can adapt to changed circumstances.She is happy when near water.

The problematic areas of her health are generally connected to chest,arms & tummy or digestive system.
The pics are courtesy google search & text courtesy Richard Sterling.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Are You a #People Pleaser ?

A people pleaser is a person who gives preference to others' needs & comforts at the cost of his own.He will go against his own inclinations & plans to agree with others or comply with their expectations;not once,twice or thrice, but almost always.

So tell me-are you a people pleaser?Are you scared to contradict anyone?Do you think that you will lose that person's friendship & approval if you do so?Do you say 'yes' even when you want to say 'no'?Are you always cautious that what you say or do should not annoy anyone?When faced with a situation,do you weigh the different options in terms of how, those you know are going to take it?It could be a simple matter of getting a new hair cut,trying on a new apparel,joining a hobby class or vocalizing what you feel about a topic under discussion.The situations could vary in a thousand ways but your overriding concern does not.You only do what you think will gain you others' approval because you think that if you please them ,then only will they like you.To some extent we all do this now & then,but here i am talking of those who are hooked up on others' appreciation & endorsement to such an extent that they feel insignificant without it.

A little clarification about what i am trying to say.Those who spread happiness with their words & deeds are certainly worthy of praise.But when we turn into chronic people-pleasers we expose ourselves to unhealthy outcomes.People can easily manipulate & exploit us.Our anxiety levels increase or decrease according to how they treat us.If someone gives us a perfunctory response we fret what it was that we did wrong.We are convinced of our worthiness only  if it is validated by others.What's more,since our responses are only aimed at concurring with others,people could think of us as fickle & our propensity to bend before others could label us as doormats.

I have been through this phase & faced all the ramifications.I think it stemmed from a basic lack of self worth.I did not think that I would be liked or approved of, if I simply let myself be me & acted natural.On one hand there was this urge to please those who I thought mattered,while on the other, I also tried to ape them.I believed this would fetch me recognition,make me popular & push me up a few notches in society.I did not like myself but I was aching to be liked by others.

But obsessive people-pleasing is detrimental to our growth & evolution.It is one thing to imbibe qualities which we admire in others & make them a part of our  personality, but another to put up a facade in order to be liked by them.Pretense of any kind is not only tiring,but also a latent form of deception.By hiding our real selves we block people from getting to know our real beings--our likes & dislikes,aspirations,priorities,values,ideals,pet hates and  insecurities.If people do not get to know our real selves,how are they going to appreciate or love us?

We have a certain mode of thinking & behaving wired into us.It has been subtly attuned to our life conditions & needs.We grow & adapt as time passes but it ought to be according to our requirements & not fashioned after others' doings & expectations.In our hurry to be socially accepted,we could be tempted to skip over our principles,responsibilities & liabilities too.The dangers of such a folly increase manifold when teens or youth succumb to peer pressure & step into blind alleys.This sort of people-pleasing is indeed the worst kind because young impressionable minds could unknowingly jeopardize their whole lives by getting into injurious habits.Therefore--

Not only young,even we adults quite often tend to follow the herd in order to be accepted by that group.Being seen at the right places,with the right people,doing the right things is a way of living for many of us.We forget that in this way we are killing our individuality.The discerning would conclude that we lack originality,depth of character & courage of our convictions.We also miss out on an opportunity to strike upon our chosen path & win accolades for our own beliefs & initiatives.

Some guide-lines to break this habit

*Learn to say 'No' without being rude.It won't do to go off on a tangent & become too contrary.

*If you are asked for a favor about which you don't feel right but you cannot say an outright 'No',then ask for some time to think about it.This will convey the message gently.

*Do not lose sight of others' wishes too.Obviously you cannot have your own way in group activities-you have to go by the consensus.
As far as the boss is concerned,he is always right.

*In order to come out of the shell of excessive congeniality it is also important to say your say.No one will be offended unless you say it belligerently.It is even possible that hearing your views, some quiet souls out there might come out in your support.

*And remember you too have acumen.You could very well come out with a solution to a problem or a significant insight about a topic under discussion.Therefore don't just nod your head & say yes.

*As you become more vocal those who thrive on sycophancy or flattery can be expected to distance themselves from you, but is that a loss?

*Giving up people pleasing will enable you to recognize your true friends & supporters.The opportunistic manipulators would have flown away.

*Life will become less complicated & stress levels will decrease when you begin to function from your true self.

*As you begin to take a stand & become more self confident,you reduce the chances of being abused or manipulated.

*The best outcome of breaking the shackles of people pleasing is a leap in the quantum of self esteem.When we show signs of spunk & originality then we will get real recognition which will augment our self worth.

*As you become aware of your intrinsic value, your self confidence too,is sure to increase.This will give you real happiness as compared to the rewards you got from people pleasing.

We all have a touch of the people pleaser in us but when carried to the extreme,it becomes counter productive.We revel in the appreciation extended to us,but the moment it is withdrawn we fall flat on our face.How to find out if we are just a normally congenial person or a people pleaser?Here is some help--Check this site for some interesting insights on this subject.It also has a teaser to help you decide whether you are a people pleaser or not.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Zodiac Sign Gemini

If you know a quick-witted,versatile,high-strung life-of-the-party,chances are he will be a Gemini.Mercury is their ruling planet,& they are just that--quick in thinking & movement.Very restless.Full of nervous energy.Communication is their forte-they are outstanding conversationalists or commentators.They make maximum use of this faculty by chatting,gossiping & latching on to all possible means of communication (they have hordes of friends on whom to hone this skill).

But do not misunderstand me--they are not idlers.This happens only when they have indulged in multifarious activities to their heart's content.They have the rudiments of umpteen subjects & skills at their fingertips--enough to impress people & earn a reputation of being well informed.They certainly love variety & change.That is why they often change their vocation more than once.

Does this extend to their romantic partners too?Ahem........depends.On individual horoscopes.They are very restless & could be fickle too.It is generally thought that they connect at the thought level & lack emotional depth.Maybe because they love to conquer new frontiers & are always on the move.The unkind may call them scatterbrained too. 

Gemini are mostly short in height & slight in built.They are susceptible to afflictions of the nervous system,chest & arms.

They possess a sharp business acumen.Are they devious ?Again a lot depends upon individual horoscopes(i don't want to annoy any friends).But they are charmers no doubt.Another typical quality is their dexterity with hands,which they use a lot while talking.No no,not for bashing people,but for driving home their point.Therefore stay clear when they start talking!

I think i have committed enough blunders for the day .Please take everything with loads of salt.
Text courtesy Richard Sterling
Pics via google search.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Jupiter-King of Planets !

It is easy to spot the king of planets if it is present in our night sky because it is the brightest object over there,after Moon & Venus (Venus is visible only near sunset or sunrise ).This colossal giant is so huge that a 1,000 earths could comfortably settle inside it,or all the planets put together.It has beautiful bands of colors caused by fast moving clouds & thick layers of gases.You can see the first true color picture of this planet above.

It is known as a gas giant because it does not have a solid surface.It's atmosphere mainly consists of hydrogen & helium.Beneath the atmosphere is a large ocean of hydrogen & water.It is mainly composed of gas & liquid gas.Jupiter has tremendous atmospheric pressure.The temperature at it's top layer is -200*F but it may increase up to 43,000*F at the core.This core is probably made up of liquid  rock & it comprises only 5% of the total mass.

In fact the composition of Jupiter is quite like that of sun.It even has a miniature solar system of four large & many other smaller moons.In addition to this there are Trojans--two groups of asteroids-- which accompany Jupiter in it's orbit,one behind & the other in front of it..Next ,there are thin rings composed of rocky bits,which circle Jupiter at high speed-completing one round in only six hours.

Jupiter has a stormy weather--winds blowing at a speed of 300-400mph.These winds do not blow in the same direction but in bands of opposite directions.The points where these opposing forces meet suffer furious clashes.Lightening & storms afflict the  whole planet.A huge storm which has been raging for at least 300 yrs gives it the famous Red Spot.This spot is so big that it could easily accommodate Earth.

Since it is such a mammoth planet, it's magnetism too, is stupendous--20,000 times as strong as that of earth.It extends to millions of miles in space--reaching up to Saturn's orbit,which is 400 million miles away from it.It's gravity too is two & a half times that of earth--you will find it difficult to walk on it's surface (oops!But   there is no surface at all,just gas,gas & more gas!).Only sun has greater gravity.

Some more interesting facts--Driving a car @ 50mph you will take six years to circle it's equator.On earth it takes only three weeks to do so.
 Jupiter rotates faster than any other planet in our solar system.
It's day consists of less than 10 earth hours & but it revolves round the sun in 11.9 yrs travelling at an average speed of 29,236mph. Well this speed is not a measly one but if you watch it day after day you will hardly notice any change in it's position.This demonstrates once again,how gigantic our solar system is!

Astrologers link Jupiter's presence in a horoscope with expansion,abundance & affluence.It all depends on, which sector this king is relaxing in.If it is the second sector then your financial status is going to expaand but if it is in the eleventh sector then friendships & social activities will blossom.

Text courtesy Robin Kerrod.
Images courtesy & wikipedia.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Updated on 8 Feb 2019

If only........There are hundreds of ways in which any one of us could complete this sentence.This is one disadvantage of being a rational animal--we are often overtaken by regrets.We feel sorry for what we did or failed to do.Sometimes we obsess about what we said to someone,or again,could not muster the courage or presence of mind to say.Over & above,there are traumas & travails dished out by lady luck,which leave us dumbfounded & often heart-broken.So many triggers cause anxiety & misery.It happens to all of us &  we wish that such & such had not happened.

Benefits of Regrets
Repenting once in a while,for a short duration & then switching to the present is perfectly normal & even fruitful .When kept in check regrets tell us where we went wrong so that we can suitably modify our behavior & reactions.This gives us a second chance to patch up with those we annoyed ,wronged or hurt.Regrets could be aptly termed as milestones on the road to self-realization.They help us to become better & wiser.So far so good.

The Flip side
But if carried to the extreme regrets or guilt can spiral us into depression.Trouble arises when we are consumed by regrets to such an extent that we disconnect with the here & now.This is injurious for our mental health.Shame,self-hate,sorrow and a feeling of worthlessness are the likely outcomes.It is not healthy to indulge in regrets too often & for too long.

Regrets,Guilt and Remorse
Our emotions climb up a roller coaster as we proceed from regrets to  guilt & then to remorse.
Regret is a mild dissatisfaction for what took place or did not.It irks us for a while but then we wish that it had not happened and move on.
Guilt is more distressing & totally personal in nature.It is like acid eroding our intestines,claiming our attention much more than is good for us.
Remorse is much more unsettling than regrets or guilt.It invokes strong emotions & can wreak havoc on a person's peace of mind & self esteem.Mostly it is connected to acts which are contrary to societal norms & expectations.But sometimes a hypersensitive person may even take on blame where none is justified.Whether factual or notional,self blame & dejection are overpowering in remorse.The protagonist is convinced that he did something terribly wrong.It is bad news for mental health & can drive a person to the depths of depression.

Getting rid of guilt
In order to recapture our equanimity it is essential to face the issue squarely in face.
*Are we really as culpable as we think ourselves to be?
*Do others also think similarly?
*If it was something we did,then was there any evil intention behind it?
*Did we know how it would pan out?
*If it was a mistake on our part,then have we repeated it since then?
*If the answers to the above questions are"No"then it is logical & perfectly justifiable to dismiss that episode as an error of judgement.Mistakes are but natural in an environment where innumerable stimuli & so many concerns crowd our minds.It is not possible to do justice to each & every issue that stares us in the face.Even if some answers to the above questions are yes,the very fact that you are regretting your action proves that you have evolved from that stage,you are not the same person who committed that wrong.So rest your mind.

Overcoming Remorse
We now come to the most important segment of this post.How does one regain peace of mind when one is plagued by severe self censure?Regrets and guilt motivate us to amend our behavior & start with a new slate but remorse demands something more.We perceive ourselves as a kind of criminal & it becomes increasingly difficult to live with that self image.

*Of course the first thing to do is to say sorry to the one you wronged if s/he is still available.Own up your fault and offer assistance to rectify it.
What if that person is no longer within reach?Even then,vowing not to repeat that behavior in future will assuage your conscience.Suppose you meet an accident victim on road & pass him by.Later on you feel bad about this.You can make amends by helping anyone in sore need of outside help & thus satisfy yourself that you are a better human being today than you were back then.

*Be happy that you feel remorse.It denotes that you are not a psychopath.The rest is in your hands & peace will come by and by.

*You are not omniscient.As such you cannot predict how your acts are going to affect others.Sometimes even good intentions misfire & the person affected may blame you for it .He may even insinuate you did it purposely.It is up to you to clear this misconception at the soonest.Even if the other person is not convinced,knowing that you had no evil intentions should be enough to relax you-you cannot please all,or control their train of thoughts.

*Do not lap up all the blame put at your door.Think back.Is it really you who are responsible for this wrongdoing or are you being made a scapegoat?This happens quite often.People don't want to recognize their contribution to a crises of their own making & will take out their frustration at an innocent but vulnerable associate or a witness.Not only others,but you yourself may also unjustifiably blame yourself for someone else being in a tight spot.

*Hindsight is always wiser & crystal clear.It is mostly hindsight which causes remorse.When you are faced with a few options you will naturally take the wisest route,but it may not turn out to be best for all.Instead of going into depression over this,recapitulate the conditions which prompted your course of action.Was there any indication then that this is how it will turn out?What else could you have done under such circumstances with that limited knowledge?You are not God!You cannot insure the welfare of all.

*You are not omnipotent. Any action can set off a ripple effect leading to repercussions which may turn out to be unsavory.Sometimes things go out of hand,they do not follow your bidding.Why should you blame yourself for it?

*Remember none of us is perfect---you learn & grow as you age.Even if you did something wrong,offensive,violent or vulgar purposely;after a lapse of time you may feel that it was a terrible thing to do.This remorse itself is a sign that you are no longer the villain which you were at that time.Therefore forget the episode & resuscitate your self esteem.
At this point i am reminded of a youth who came to me for counseling.He had teased a girl but was now repenting his act & asked me how to tell her that he was sorry for his deed.He did not know her whereabouts.I advised him to just treat it as a learning lesson & stop self flagellation.This just shows that we learn & improve with time--it happens.One mistake does not make devils of us.
Sometimes regrets also stem from major life changes & these really pinch.Patience & fortitude in the face of such changes will lead us to cooler climes once again but focusing on the unpleasant aspects of a change or hankering for the past bodes ill for our future because --
Of all the words of mice and men,
The saddest are,"It might have been". (Kurt Vonnsgut)
No one can deny the veracity of this statement.We all come across so many changes in life & many of them are unsavory.However, live we must,& that too in life conditions thrust upon us.It is up to us to make them as congenial as we can & then be gracious about it.

Image courtesy--google search