Learn to be Your Own Defense Attorney
  By Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

One of the first things students of Living 201 class do, is to learn to be their own attorney.  That is not for legal matters, but for internal matters, the matters of their emotions and feelings.  People, who have problems of low self-esteem and low self-confidence, are their own worst enemies.  

When something goes wrong, they start arguing with themselves as if they are the attorneys from the opponent side.  They accuse themselves like expert prosecution attorneys.  Sadly, there is no one to defend them because they never appointed one and never learned to defend their own case.  It's a one-way street, only self-blame, no self-defense.

If you habitually blame others when things go wrong, skip this article.  This article can make you insufferable.  However, if you habitually blame yourself when things go wrong, read on.  The technique discussed here will help you to raise your self-esteem and self-confidence.  

The technique is called, "disputing," that is, the act of monitoring your self-talk and then arguing against the negative things you say to yourself.  What do you say to yourself when bad things happen to you?  The pessimistic people explain bad events to themselves in such a way that they end up feeling worse.  Over a period of time, they develop a tendency for depression.  

 When something goes wrong, ask yourself, "Who did it to me?  Was it I or was it other people and circumstances?  Be objective about it.   

Then ask yourself, will things change?  Answer it in no uncertain terms as "Yes," and tell yourself that things will change for better, sooner than later.  

The third question is, "Why did it happen and what should I do now?"  Only focus on causes about which you can do something.  Example:  "I didn't study hard (or work hard)."  

Avoid "bleeding all over the place."  When one thing goes wrong, pessimistic and depressed people have a tendency to view everything negatively and go down on themselves about everything.  Focus on the issue at hand and on what you need to do to fix it.    

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