I had been questioning my capability of wanting to be a psychologist for months, I constantly wondered to myself, “Can someone like me who has faced emotionally draining and negative situations in life help other individuals overcome every unpleasant emotion they’re feeling?”.
As I pondered over this thought for those few months, I ended up eventually blurting it out in the middle of a conversation I was having with my mother (we were arguing about my future, and of course all the thoughts and feelings you repress into your unconscious come out best when you’re filled with extreme rage and frustration – it’s genuinely a fact) and her response was simple but it changed my whole perspective, she said, “Antara, who else will be better at understanding and empathising with other individuals than someone who has already experienced it themselves?” and I finally realised that I was exactly where I was meant to be and I am moving towards the direction of where I am meant to go.
I remember the first time I started studying the subject of Psychology, it was in the 11th grade and as I grew more into it, I knew I wanted to pursue it in the future. My sole reason has always been “I want to make a difference”, “I want to make other people feel happier”, “I want more positivity in a world which is always focusing on the negative”. I genuinely believe everyone deserves to be happy and this mindset drove me towards my ideal path.
To be honest, I had my fair share of weaknesses and failures along the path of discovering myself – there were times I almost gave up, the universe was bombarding me with repeated failures and rejections which put me at an edge and it drove me back to the vicious cycle of questioning myself. I was always repeatedly reminded of how I was good for nothing and how I couldn’t do something and it’s not easy to bounce back from the constant negative energy you’re surrounded with. I had a tough time dealing with this but after contemplating over the situation I was in, I decided to break the cycle – I decided to not give up and keep working hard because the opportunity to learn was still right in front of me, I just had to choose to see it, and so I did. I bounced back from every rejection, every negative comment towards how I was not capable and instead devoted all my time to learning more, volunteering, offering a helping hand to anyone who needed it and most importantly, I learned how to eventually look at my obstacles as challenges instead of threats, I refused to fall into self-pity but instead I used all the negativity in my stride leading me to become stronger than I would have ever imagined three years ago.
I want to end this with a learning, an idea, a concept which I believe everyone can apply to situations where they feel defeated: accept oneself and accept the problems or situations you’re in and once you do, you will see a change in the way you are in the world and eventually you will seek out positive outcomes and learn to tolerate the negative ones. For everyone struggling with self-doubt, you can do this.
This story is shared by Anatara Jain. She is a 21-year-old pursuing a Double Major in Psychology and History at Sophia College, Mumbai.