Why some people get out of a mess and others never do.

Depression in not a term to be dandied around too glibly. While many of us do go about feeling like a dark cloud is hovering over us, we are not what we so loosely call ‘depressed’. Those who are truly depressed would happily exchange your feelings of being low for their real suffering of depression.

But I do admit that we all go through those dark emotional phases of feeling low. Perhaps you are feeling the same right now. Sometimes these feelings last a day or a week but often they just don’t get shaken off for months. Let us assume that a young person is growing through a teenage phase where doubts abound and answers are sought from the most unreliable source (that by the way is the nature of a teenager). The lack of confidence, the desire to be among the hip and trendy or simply the inability to figure out who you are among a bunch of people who are equally lost can be really scary. Teenage life can be the pits with such feelings. What does one do?

In times of emotional uncertainty, what is important to analyze is what are we actually saying to ourselves. What makes or breaks us is not the advice others give us but what we tell ourselves and then begin to believe. If you look in the mirror and tell yourself you are ugly because you don’t see yourself as beautiful as someone else who you think is beautiful, chances are you will begin to believe in what you think. Even worse, when you begin to believe another person’s half-baked opinion of an incident that transpired in your life; you allow them to define you.

Those who make it out there in the big world do a lot of self-talk. But that self-talk needs to be positive and constructive. There is a difference between allowing yourself to talk to you and you talking to yourself. It may sound confusing but let me elaborate this a bit. Self-talk is good provided you are talking to yourself positively. When you tell yourself that you are good, you are beautiful, you are focused and determined, then YOU control the narrative of what you say to yourself. This of course must be based in some reality and honesty. If you slept on your algebra book with the hope that by osmosis the matter has entered your brain, then you are delusional especially if you believe that positive self-talk will help you pass the test. (And unlike psychology or sociology you can’t bullshit your way through algebra). The reality is that such self-talk will get you a D and one that your rightly deserve.

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