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How I rose from “dark” to light

Here is a proud and talented brown girl who found her lost confidence with the help of her family. Read the story of Tanvi, who despite of facing criticism and suffering low self-esteem, broke the shackles of society and became a confident and strong girl in her skin.

As a child Tanvi had a different childhood as she had a Muslim father and Jain mother. However, she was unaffected by this, which is why, when she was five and one of her friend’s mother asked her about whom does she loves the most, Tanvi’s reply was ‘Myself’. But as she progressed towards teenage, she started to see things differently. She was, now, questioning her physical looks and self-worth more often. While she was still trying to figure this out, an incident shook her.

It happened in 9th grade, when she was getting ready for a party with her friends. Excited and happy, they were all trying different outfits and looks. Suddenly one of her friends said that ‘everything about Tanvi was perfect, except for her skin tone!’ Yes, she was a dark skinned girl, or not fair enough, as they say.

Tanvi was hurt as this mere sentence broke her heart badly. This killed her confidence and Tanvi became conscious of her skin colour. She started refraining from anything that would bring her to limelight as she thought she wasn’t good enough. Not only this, but she even avoided any social interactions and stayed away from people whom she thought would hurt her.

Her mother, who after watching Tanvi see fairness cream ads told her that she doesn’t need to be of a particular skin colour to be successful, tried to rebuild her confidence. She recommended Tanvi to join martial arts, hence diverting all her negative energy into physical energy. Tanvi practised everyday and each day gave her the opportunity to express herself as something more than just a dark skinned girl. Gradually her focus shifted toward this and she became capable of fighting back and re-established her confidence.

Her friends and family also helped her emotionally. They believed in her and showed their confidence in her. This made Tanvi grow even strong and confident. She couldn’t thank enough for having such co-operative and understanding people around her.

Finally, Tanvi made peace with herself and her skin colour. Today, she is an inspiring fashion blogger and a black belt Martial arts expert who has been winning tournaments internationally since a very young age. 

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5 ways to overcome shyness

Being shy is a normal part of growing up. Here are tips on overcoming the emotion.
Ritika SrivastavaTeentalkindia Counsellor

Do you feel awkward talking to girls in your class? Does it feel odd to talk to relatives in a family function?

These are normal situations that life puts us in. We all have to learn to deal with it. There might be obstacles you might face when put in social situations. One of them is shyness. Some psychologists consider it to be a mild fear. However, being shy is a part of growing up. There is nothing wrong about it. But if being shy is stopping you from talking to others, there might be some steps you can take to overcome them.

1. Do you have low self-esteem?
According to research, shyness can be a result of low self-esteem. A stronger form of shyness can be social anxiety or social phobia. But let’s not go that far. One way of successfully overcoming low self-esteem is trying to figure out your strengths. Ask yourself: what activities make you feel most confident?

2. Talk about your strengths
When faced with unfamiliar people and situations, it is best to approach them confidently. But how do you do that when the mere thought of people scare you? It is by remembering your strengths and using them to your advantage. Your strength can be writing or the fact that you are good at cricket or even that you read a lot.

3. Do not worry about what others think about you
One of the primary reasons for shyness is an ego-driver fear of how other peers will perceive you. You might be caught up in a web of what others might think of you. Maybe in the past you might be subjected to criticism, rejection or humiliation. But remember, all situations do not have to be negative.

4. Say uplifting things to yourself
If you have a party to attend and you feel really uncomfortable, make a list of 3 things you appreciate about yourself. These can be simple stuff such as, “I am a good friend,” or “I crack funny jokes,” among others. Say these positive affirmations to yourself and you will feel better.

5. Being rejected is okay
When we try something new, we are bound to fail, But that does not mean that we are failures. It means that we are willing to try. You might face rejection in the beginning. People might make fun of you and might not talk to you. It is okay. What is not okay is giving up and remaining in your shell. Give it another try!

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