Social phobia and a ton of debt 

How can I make a success of my life? 

Writing down your thoughts can help you figure it out, says our elder. Here’s some homework to get you started.


Dear EWC

I have done engineering in computer science in 2005 but I got my first job in 2010 – that too with help of my friends. The reasons are social phobia, zero confidence. From 2010 to 2016, I did a few jobs but I was not interested in them. So, in 2016 I started a business in computer sales but I did not succeed due to my socially awkward nature. Today I have a loan of 15 lakhs on me (6.50 lakh for home loan and other as personal loan that I have taken from friends and relatives). And I am not doing a job or business now. I cannot understand what to do further so that I can repay such a huge amount. I am confused whether I should go for a job or business (particularly business which can be done without investment, i.e. online). Kindly suggest or help me to gain success in my life.


Kind replies

I am so glad you found us at a time when you need encouragement and someone to listen to you with compassion and understanding.

Congratulations on completing so much education, not just in one difficult field but two. That is an enormous accomplishment. While it may seem like a failure, we learn a lot about ourselves by discovering when a particular career is not a good fit. That is not a failure though it may feel like it. Sometimes the only way of knowing is to go into something and then find out that it doesn’t suit us. You found that out about engineering and computer science.

I understand that you have zero confidence and that you feel very socially awkward. Would you consider yourself an introvert? Do people drain your energy? If that is the case, then I think it would be best for you to focus on work that does not involve people. How does that prospect feel?  

If you close your eyes and imagine your perfect life, what are you doing? What makes you want to get up in the morning? If you could do anything at all, what would it be? If you could be anywhere, do anything, what would it be? Let yourself imagine your ideal life. Sometimes the fastest way to that is by identifying what you don’t want. So do that. 

These are all very important questions to consider. I would suggest that you spend some quiet time each day with a notebook writing down whatever comes to you about those questions I posed. Would you be willing to start writing ten minutes a day? If you need some help starting, pick one of those questions above and answer it. Just write. It doesn’t matter what form the writing takes. Our heads are full of thoughts and feelings. We carry around so much, just like a heavy suitcase. We can be burdened by so much weight and we don’t necessarily know what we are carrying around.

You will see things appear that may surprise you that you didn’t know about yourself. You will find out what’s underneath your social awkwardness. Write about it. When did it start? What are you afraid of? What are your deepest fears? Go into them and describe every single one. I know it can be scary but it’s very helpful. It’s essential to find out what is scaring you. 

Why do you feel so inept? What and/or who created the feeling you have of zero confidence? You are obviously highly intelligent; otherwise, you never could have completed your studies. They require commitment, a high degree of intelligence and analytic skill. You possess those.

What other qualities do you have? Would you be willing to begin making a list of them? Think of all your accomplishments, no matter how small. What gives you energy? What are your skills? Concentrate on those and write them all down. You will begin to recognize that you have many capacities.

Take another page in your notebook (or on the computer). Who told you that you are not capable? When did that start? Was it a parent, a relative, a teacher? Write about that, even if it’s painful. It will help you. 

On another page list the people who have believed in you going back to early childhood. Which family members? Which teachers? What people do you have now in your life who believe in you? Write down their names. Decide to be in touch with them. Spend more time with them.

It is perfectly okay if you feel better alone. Not everyone flourishes around a lot of people. Now is the opportunity to analyze your personality. Think back on your life. Find times when you were happier and describe them. What were you doing?

What kind of people give you energy? What kind of people drain your energy? This is very important to understand.

Your personality is unique. Your task right now is to make a thorough study of you. Write down your strengths. Write down what you are good at. Write down what and who you don’t like. Describe what working and living conditions are optimal for you. 

Now imagine your work life. What fits best with your personality? It’s very important to not only take a thorough inventory of your strengths but also to accept that you have a certain temperament. You must work with your strengths. And accept what does not suit you. There is no shame in that. We all have strengths. We all have weaknesses or things that we are not good at; things we are not interested in. And that is perfectly okay. 

Let’s talk about your latest career idea of going into business, specifically something that does not require financial investment. Can you spend some time researching the different options? That’s a very important step. Take notes. Make that your job right now. Look into all the possibilities and notice, while you are doing so, which give you energy and which make you feel tired. Your body will let you know. Begin to listen to it. It has a lot of wisdom to offer you.

I feel for you that you have so much debt. That is a lot of stress. How are you going to deal with it?  You need to have an action plan. Can you write me more about that please. When do you have to pay it back?  How much stress are you under? What are your options?  What are the consequences of not paying it back on time? What is the deadline?

Where are you living now? Do you have anyone in your life that is supportive? That you can go to and talk to about your current struggles, pressures and uncertainties? Remember, you may write me back (including very long letters) three times, whenever you wish, and I will carefully listen and respond.

But in the meantime, I recommend that you consider who is in your life at the moment. Is there anyone you respect, who respects you, that could be a mentor? Anyone at all that you could confide in? That would be very helpful.

Why are you not working right now? Can you find some temporary job so you can at least have structure and earn some money while you are searching for a career path that will be the best fit for you?

I have given you several things to consider and specific homework, if you will, to complete. If you are willing to follow my suggestions, you will feel more energized. If you begin to take some action steps, no matter how small, those will give you energy. More action will give you more energy and that will create more motivation to continue. Start small. Write some each day. Relax with your eyes closed each day and imagine your perfect life. Research business opportunities each day online that don’t require taking out more loans. 

There is a lot to be hopeful about. Take some small steps each day and please stay in touch.

Article #: 502535
Category: Self-Improvement

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