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Too much twinning

What to do when your twin overshadows your own identity? Our elder points out that, twin or not, we all need to believe in ourselves.

Dear EWC:

Hey, I am an undergraduate student majoring in safety and fire. My problem is I am not self-confident. I believe the reason why I am not self-confident is because I am a twin. I’ve got a twin sister who used to be a teacher’s pet, has got better looks, more friends and a lot more. I know I sound jealous here but this is my problem. 

In school I’ve always tried to become like my sister or even better than her, maybe I lost myself in that process. She always got better grades than me even though the amount of time we spent on studies was the same. All the teachers used to compliment her in front of the whole class, which made me feel like a loser. We used to hang out with the same group of friends but sometimes I feel like they talk to me because of my sister. I speak less compared to my sister and maybe that’s the reason she has got more friends than me. I’ve actually had a very bad childhood and it traumatizes me even now. I am in college now and I’ve realized how much of a loser I’ve become. 

Sitting in my class has become my worst nightmare. When my professors ask me questions, I just smile at their face and they wonder whether I can speak. I’ve gone through such situations a lot and I am even questioning my existence due to my lack of self-confidence. But now I feel like I am dependent on my sister because when she is not around me, I don’t talk much and just sit in a corner with my phone. I can only become myself when my sister is around and I think that is a problem. Now due to lockdown and I’ve got nothing to do at home, all those past memories and thoughts are eating me up. I’ve really got no source of motivation. I really want to change my lifestyle and become self-confident. I want to start speaking more to people and then stop getting jealous of my sister for each and everything. I want to be confident enough to speak In front of my class without any worries and make many more friends. 

Please help me out of this situation. I really need some guidance.

Ms. Mary replies:

Don’t compare yourself to your sister or anybody else. That is a recipe for unhappiness.  

I read something profound this morning. “The world can only see us as we see ourselves.” It is a shame that you’ve come to believe that your sister has more going for her than you do. You are unique and special. You can become and do whatever you believe. It is only fear that is holding you back.    

It is important to understand that fear is always something that has not yet happened, that is non-existent; it is an imaginary something that you think of which frightens you with its possibilities. You are afraid you can’t speak, so you can’t. You fear that you are dependent on your sister, so that becomes your truth. However, those are self-imposed thoughts that don’t serve you. You’ve spent so much time imagining the worst that it has paralyzed you. You’ve come to believe that you are a loser, though, that is not true. It is only your perception. It’s time to tell yourself another story. 

The good news is that you want to feel better, to be self-confident and self-reliant. That is a given once you gradually turn your thoughts in the opposite direction. When you find yourself thinking a self-destructive thought, do not indulge in it. Make a decision not to hold anything in your mind that you do not wish to become real in your life. Choose a thought that feels better.

The easiest way I know to reverse your thoughts is by imagining what you desire, not what you fear. Whatever we think about gets bigger, good or bad. Spend quiet time every day visualizing how you want to feel (i.e., confident, relaxed, knowledgeable, capable, assured, engaging, well-liked, friendly, happy, worry-free, etc.) Savor and bask in those feelings until they gradually become real. At first, be general in those thoughts, but as you become comfortable with them, gradually make them more specific. It helps too, to write down how you want to feel. 

Refrain from saying things that don’t feel good (i.e., I’ve got no source of motivation). You are motivated; that’s why you wrote to Elder Wisdom Circle. You have a strong desire to be outgoing. The lockdown is the perfect time to change your inner-world before you test your new confidence with action in the outside world. Enjoy your alone time reading books and watching videos that inspire you. There are many good videos on YouTube about self-confidence. A simple book that I recommend written in 1906 is titled, Every Man a King by Orison Swett Marden. The words are quite different than we speak today; however, it can be a life-changing book. The paperback version costs about $5.00 on Amazon. I already bought two copies for my grandbabies and am saving them for them until they are teenagers.  

Everything you dream is within your reach if you affirm and believe that it will be. You can do that. Make up your mind that nothing will hold you back and that you will attract what you most desire. Take one step at a time doing the inner work. Gradually you will feel lighter and more optimistic. Then you will start to notice tangible results. 

I’m happy to talk with you further if I can be of more help. Wishing you eagerness, enthusiasm, and self-appreciation as you gradually learn to allow who you really begin to blossom. 

Self-Improvement 

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