Praises Go a Long Way: Handling My Self-Doubt

It is almost a month now since I started working on this website and though I admit that the quality of the write-ups is not up to the mark, I have learned a lot and am happy with what I have achieved so far. I like what I see when I open the website and feel encouraged every time I tell myself that I built it. That was the whole motive behind starting “ZeneiFromKohima”.

I have always been a ‘shy’ person and thus I’m fighting with the temptation to change the name of my website to something more discreet. I have so far successfully reminded myself to own it no matter how trivial it sounds. I felt the need to add ‘Kohima’ because I cannot separate myself from my birth place. No matter how far I go from this place, nothing and nobody can change the fact that I am a girl from Kohima.

Coming back to my shyness, honestly, I have outgrown it and sometimes I wish I hadn’t. Being shy is innocent but sadly I’m guilty of self-doubting. I judge myself too harshly and am my worst critic and it has its roots in my upbringing like every other characteristic I possess. My parents are the simplest and most honest people I know but they didn’t know how to complement their children. They were always too modest with us and therefore hardly ever showed how proud or happy we made them feel. It was their way of staying humble and keeping us grounded too but it didn’t have a positive impact on us.

I remember my Mother telling me a story of a woman who bragged about her intelligent children and later suffered a tragic old age because all her children lost their ways. This story was told to her by my Grandmother who was also very stingy with her praises. The fact that I remember the story of this woman to this date proves the deep influence on me too. I accept that I myself am very bad with complementing and I feel uncomfortable when somebody is praising their own children, siblings or partners. But at least now I know that there is nothing wrong with that if they are worth commending.

I sometimes wonder how far we would have gone if our parents were more generous and encouraging because we were all excellent in our studies and had been blessed with talents which many don’t have. But it’s no point digging and lamenting because none of us are in a bad place as adults. We just have to be careful not to make the same mistake and give our commendation for our children’s efforts no matter how small. It is dangerous turning a blind eye to somebody’s wrong doing or giving false appraisal but there is no shame in praising your own for the right things they have done.

Sunny, my husband, has so much confidence in me that I find it irritating, not that it doesn’t make me feel good or that I don’t appreciate his gestures but it’s just my self-doubt and the fear of disappointment. As for me, I know for sure that once we accept our illnesses, the treatment can be easy and I’m on my way to recovery. He suggested that I make my website public on my upcoming birthday and I think I will be ready by then.


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