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As I was ruminating, I wondered what could be the reason for the absence of acceptance letters from graduate schools to which I had applied. Thanks to self confidence and a healthy self esteem- I did not suffer from an existential meltdown

With time on my hands, I thought some more on the prospect of being a Psychologist and whether or not I’d be a good one. Then I remembered my Intro to Counseling and Psychotherapy class and I learned that empathy is always good, but sharing personal experiences were a no no!

Then I thought about Alvin Day, Joyce Meyer, Jillian Michaels and all the other folk who have become millionaires from telling people what to do, using “Pop Psychology (or what I like to call “2 cent psychology”; hidden in the mainframe of what they label as personal stories or testimonials…. And it really seem to work!

Apart from Dr. Phil, I really don’t know any rich Psychologists. The thing is, most people think Psychologists are high level scammers!

  1. Do psychologists usually claim they don’t tell people what to do, they facilitate? Ahmm, why would  any rational thinking human being pay money to come up with their own cure when talking to a smart 12 year old on a bus and some deep introspection could yield the same result?
  2. Do Most psychologists project to themselves and the world that they have it all figured out when in truth and in fact they probably fly over the cuckoos nest a little more often than some of the patients they treat?
  3. Do psychologist tell everybody they are broken to sustain their livelihood?

False!!! The fact is, we are all broken to some degree .Imagine a metal pipe  which provides water for a whole town, which seems to be worn to some degree by rust. Oxidation and other chemical reactions have taken a toll and we decide it’s not shiny, it looks damaged, so we break it to fix it. That will result maybe in a pipe that cannot be fixed, a town without water and prime condition for disease outbreak.

Which is why it is important to seek advice from people who know the pros and cons to many situations… Especially the ones often shunned or left alone!

Not everybody can be fixed, most  need someone to facilitate them to get the best of what they have, for as long as possible. Sometimes   fixing is not so good, because sometimes we have to break to fix and be willing to face the consequences of breaking.  Sometimes the rust is a protective layer to prevent any further damage to the pipe.  If the pipe is broken and cannot be repaired, Ethics will ensure that this is properly dealt with.

The sad thing is, like this pipe people question one’s competence based on looks or how they act. Those traits they believe are good indicators of self confidence and self esteem.

Mental health is often ignored and the only time it is checked , is either when Insurance companies need information or when it seems unstable. Psychological help come from friends, religious books, weight loss programmes, etc (basically everyone who is not a psychologist who has some marketing knowledge).

Religion gives hope, so people feel good about themselves and the lives they lead and makes them confident, that one day things will be awesome. Self help books – (when they do help), boosts the person’s morale and makes them more self aware and self confident. Testimonials give people a boost in confidence and self awareness to know and assess their skills and the confidence to believe that one day they too, can achieve it.

So, I have ranting and the only words popping up so far are self and confidence. According to source, self confidence is authority, sureness and freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities. This self confidence from having a high self esteem and self awareness. So first, get to know yourself and you will discover your strengths and weaknesses. After that highlighting the high points and contouring the low points, the results will be great. However some things block us from exploring  our great points…. Over the past year I’ve done many things and I believe I am way more confident than ever!

Here goes my list of things that can affect your self confidence:

Dating-   Who, me?  I’d never kiss on the first date! No Burger King date for me, How Rachet! It is  impossible for me to watch a horror flick.. for those of us who feel strongly about our morals dating is a great way to test them , even those of us who resist the great winds of peer pressure will rethink and re evaluate who we really are and what we really stand for.

Spending time with other people who you find attractive can boost self esteem. It forces one to think about their likes and dislikes and doing things that makes you feel good and more self aware. The pros of dating: we tend to want to put our best foot forward so we tend to find our strengths and highlight them, we become more self aware. The cons, we should date not to find someone to save us, dating shouldn’t be a quest to break the spell of loneliness that you have had since… forever!  That tends to lead to unstable relationships or allowing the prospective relationship to consume most of your time. Sometimes, getting out of the house to do something fun or to feel appreciated is all your self esteem needs.

Body Odour- Many people struggle with this problem, especially teens and young adults.  Being around people and being the reason for their noses turning upwards is not a good feeling. It makes you self conscious and often lowers self esteem. This happens mostly because of hormone changes and your body is producing pheromones to call out to potential mates. It usually takes a while for persons to find the right products. However, Degree and Arm and Hammer deodorants seem to do the trick for the underarm regions. In Jamaica, a freshly cut lime is usually squeezed and rubbed under the arm pit during showers and it tends to eliminate odours. Sprinkling baking soda under the armpits tend to do the trick as well. Shaving privates and underarms makes staying fresh, a lot easier;  pheromones to attract our mates, the caveman, are  no longer necessary, those homo erectus are now homo sapiens and much rather the scent of perfume and cologne than any pheromone!

Clothes- I can speak from experience about how clothes can affect self esteem. As a skinny child, my mother thought it was her responsibility to buy some of my clothes a size or 2 bigger than I am so I could grow into them. It felt rather unflattering and the ones that did fit… I LIVED in them, to the point where my grandmother said I would be photographed wearing them. This continued for a while and as I ended university, I decided to do a change. Clothes I liked that were a bit too big, I got them altered at a Taylor. When my mother buys clothes, I tell her, don’t look on how small they are, when hung up they will look smaller… Ask the people for Size 1, please! Suggest to people who shop for you the style of clothes you like, reject some “old bruk”, saves you some dignity.” Old bruk” is some hand me downs thatnwill  not coming back in fashion…. EVER!  They are usually ugly and sometimes even come in barrels from ‘Foreign’.  Looking good helps you to feel good

Clothesugly dressold bruk

Hair- I must commend blogs like Black Girl With Long Hair, they truly have started a wave of Black pride which has caused improvement in some natural hairstyles I have seen. If asked, many females will tell you they feel most confident when they just did their hair. My advice is to keep hair healthy and invest in good products and learn to style or care for your hair properly and bad hair days will be few and far apart… So keep that salon day confidence going!

Weight Fat or slim, people will have something negative to say about your weight. I eat like the average Caribbean person…. surpassing the required calories for the day and I look like a tiny 16 year old. However, when people say hurtful things, I am not phased because I eat healthy and I exercise  and the doctor gave me a clean bill of health the last time I checked. If you are a bit on the heavier side and you eat properly and exercise… just live and feel confident because people will always have something to say

Acne- In a family with Acne and eczema and allergies to a lot of stuff.. I prayed to have a clean face when I was little… Well, that prayer was not answered. As beautiful as I am, I hated taking pictures because of the bumps or the scars on spots that were left behind. I tried every brand, every product and nothing worked. I got a job and as I had enough saved, I visited Dr. Yapp, who introduced me to Ari Sulphur bar…. and trust me, it was Magical! My face has never been more beautiful and makeup for me is not essential. I am glad i found something that worked and I want to share it with the world and I have never felt more confident…I haven’t started photo bombing yet…. But I love the camera and it loves me more!

So, be cognizant of the image you put out, be true to yourself. Stand tall- research shows that proper posture makes yo look more attractive and increases blood flow which lifts your mood. So, those are my experiences and hope they help you as much as Dr. Phil does. 🙂

Think about it…. Charles Cooley and his Looking Glass Self  Theory asserts that people act the way you see them. ” I am the way you see me”.  My take is different – This life is a three way  reflective mirror, I  see you the way you reflect your image, interpret it,  then show it back to you. So, start reflecting confidence and self worth!