Hong Kong-based author, Shobha Nihalani, has always been fascinated by the human mind. Whether it is her earlier books such as The NINE Trilogy Unresolved or her latest work, Reboot, Reflect, Revive: Self-esteem in a Selfie World, she has always delved deep into human psychology. “I am curious about why people behave a certain way. Perhaps, through this journey of writing, I am trying to understand myself and people around me as well. My father was quite a perfectionist. He had certain expectations and sometimes I couldn’t relate to that. In a way, I have been trying to understand why I couldn’t be the way certain people wanted me to be,” says Nihalani, whose latest book has been published by SAGE Publications.
Through Reboot, Reflect, Revive, she is trying to demonstrate why self-esteem is basic to psychological health, personal happiness and positive relationships. Based on extensive research, interviews with mental health experts, real-life examples, and more, Nihalani focuses on everyday experiences, showcasing how people make the choice to rise above the expectations of a hyper competitive society. One would think that a book based on such a complex subject might run the danger of being too technical or academic in nature. However, the author has taken care to maintain a conversational style, while also outlining key actionable solutions.
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“I am not a psychologist or a mental health professional. But this comes from the perspective of a lay person, who has experienced and addressed low self-esteem. The people I interviewed shared details of their vulnerabilities in a way that others could learn from them,” says Nihalani. She recounts the story of a young lady, mentioned in the book, who was bullied in school. She went on to battle drug addiction. “She also came to realise that she was gay. She tried to fit in, but hated herself through the process. All this led to low self-esteem. However, at some point, she realised deep within that she had to make a change,” adds the author. So, the young lady entered into rehab and developed inner strength through group healing processes. Today, she is a trauma coach and helps people with similar issues.
“While writing the book, I kept asking myself, as a reader, what would I gain out of reading it. So, I have tried to cover all aspects such as imposter syndrome, competition at the workplace, addressing your inner critic, how Gen Z handles social media, and more,” she says. “Sometimes when we interact with people, we feel hurt by certain things. But instead of addressing those feelings, we push them under the carpet. The pandemic has given us time to reflect on ourselves. And the strength of the human mind is amazing. We just need to realise it.”
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