Dear Bunmi,

Last year, I had a reasonably comfortable life. I went to work and had a boyfriend and a good group of friends. Then I became ill and was hospitalised. When I came out, I discovered my boyfriend had moved on to a new girlfriend. Weeks later, my landlord threw me out when I couldn’t afford the rent.

“Now my boss seems to be fed up with me because I am always on sick leave.

I have a lot of bills I’m worried about and I feel depressed.

I used to be strong, but now I feel weak and I’m tired of fighting life’s problems.

Please, help me find my way back before I give up.

Shade,

bye-mail.

Dear Shade,

Most of us get out of life precisely what we expect from it. To expect more from life requires expecting more from yourself, and expectations of the self are the basis of confidence.

Imagine your self-confidence as a muscle that needs regular stretching and exercise. Start slowly; go to the cinema on your own; take up a sport or join a gym.

Change your hairstyle or make-up for a while, just because you can or wear bright colours you’ve never worn before.

“If your professional life is going nowhere, then give it a push. Think about your dream career and educate yourself about necessary qualifications – and find out where you can start training – where you’re still young to go for it. Increase your knowledge, increase your confidence.

Remember, education doesn’t stop with childhood. Sooner than you think, your health issues will be behind you. When you meet new people after you’re back on your feet, concentrate on them and ask questions about what they do – it will stop the paralysing anxiety you feel about your state of health.

 

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