Tahsin Zatman: When Confidence is the Question, She is the Answer

I’m 3 years old, sitting on my grandmother’s lap. She is holding me so tight, and I don’t know why. Soon after, I find my mother, kneeling down in front of me, and speaking to me, ‘baby you’re going to have to stay with your grandmother for a while, mummy and daddy have to go somewhere.’ My mummy is crying and I am really scared and start screaming and sobbing, as my grandmother holds me tightly and takes me to the window. I see my mummy and daddy get in a car and leave.

All little Tahsin wanted then was to be with her mother, but she was leaving. Why she left, and when she’d be back, Tahsin had no clue.

As far as Tahsin was concerned, she felt like she was being punished.

And even though at that age she couldn’t speak those words, one
can imagine what she was feeling. “Mummy, why are you going without me, I’ll be good mummy! Please, don’t go!”

Poor baby, you’d just want to pick her up and tell her there’s nothing to worry about and everything’s going to be all right. But no one said those words to her, and she felt like she was being left alone.

Fast forward to a year later, and all Tahsin remembers is seeing her mother getting down from a plane at the runway.

Her mother was back, and Tahsin was happy, but in between the two events, etched in Tahsin’s memory, was the experience of being abandoned.

But she was too small then to understand any of this, and just moved on with her life.

She grew up to be a successful doctor, a wife and a mother, but she didn’t feel like that was enough.

What was the missing piece? Why did she often feel like she was walking on eggshells? That if people around didn’t approve of her, she’d feel the lash of this disapproval that made her try hard to please people, to avoid the lash.

In effect, giving her 3 year old self the power to decide how she felt at any moment, but she had no insight into this.

This made her feel like she had to be perfect, a people pleaser, to ensure she didn’t feel punished by someone’s disapproval. Similar to how she felt when she was 3 years old and her mother was leaving.

Years passed, yet nothing changed. Only she felt more gloomy and unhappy about her life. I am not enough, she felt. She felt like she was inadequate, which took a great toll on her self-esteem.

And one day after she had returned to work, after having gone for a maternity leave, she heard words, that would bring her world crumbling down.

You haven’t been yourself since the time you’ve come back.”

That was her colleague, who had been noticing the change in her behavior for a while, but only felt like bringing it to her notice that day.

She had a stressful 24 hours on call, and clearly wasn’t being her usual self.

Turns out, after she had returned to work, post delivery of her second child, she had been quite emotional in her behavior. Not the Tahsin her colleagues were used to seeing.

Her office advised her to take some time off to figure things out.

So she went on a 6 month sick leave. A time she spent in self-reflection. First, it was affecting her family, and now her work as well. What was going on?

It turned out to be postnatal depression, which she had had for the last six years when she had her first child, and worsened by her stressful job and the birth of her second child.

That time off from work, helped her cope with the situation. She was able to gather herself and get back to work.

Life went on, and she had her third child. Also, started a baby food business, and moved continents. Only to find herself divorced as she came back.

Tahsin was now facing some of the darkest moments of her life. A grief stricken single mother of three children. Feeling lonely, scared, and unsure about her life. Dark clouds had engulfed her so much, she felt like she was barely living. All she was able to do then was get dressed to take her children to school.

What do I do now? How did I make such a mess of my life? Were some of her thoughts.

But in between all that gloom and doom, arrived a light, in which she felt clearly what she had not felt in her whole life! She spoke golden words that would change the course of her life, and the words were I am lost, what can I do?

What a gift for Tahsin!

As she realised she needed help, so she began with counselling, and also getting engrossed in a lot of reading. Whether it was science or philosophy or religion, she took it all in. And it helped to an extent, but nothing significant came of it.

As more days passed, she continued her quest for self-discovery. And one day, she found herself in a self-help seminar, where the speaker asked her to go down the memory lane, and connect with a memory from her childhood. As she started visualising, she saw herself walking into a room, where she saw this child, with the saddest of eyes, who felt that she wasn’t worthy of love.

That was a projection from Tahsin’s childhood, when she was 3 years old and her mother was leaving her.

It’s funny how our minds process information. She clearly was not being punished or being left for good. But the mind interpreted it completely differently.

It saw that situation as being something unsafe and became hardened in her mind as someone not worthy of love.

And we can call this someone nothing but a false identity. And not her true self.

That’s when she had her penny drop moment. All those days of trying to avoid disapproval had their roots in this memory of feeling like she was someone unworthy of love.

A completely flawed, distorted, skewed view of the situation that was at the root of her misery.

And each time she bumped into a situation when it felt like she wasn’t being approved of, she was trying to avoid the pain of the memory that told her she wasn’t worthy of love.

She thought she had to somehow convince the other person to be more kindly and loving towards her, when all she really needed was to drop the memory that made her feel like she was worthless.

And this discovery brought along with it freedom. That she didn’t have to win the approval of the world, but only see that she didn’t need to identify with a memory that told her she wasn’t worthy of love.

There was nothing for her to do except to see the memory for what it was, and to let it go.

Human beings, in their ignorance, sometimes don’t say the right thing to others, but if you don’t accept the hurt, you can’t be hurt.

If you don’t buy into someone’s idea or criticism of yourself, you can’t be criticised.

That’s called owning your power. That you have the power and the authority in your life, and that no one else on earth can hurt you, because you have decided to be kindly to yourself, which means self-judgement and self-criticism and self-worry goes out of the window.

As far as Tahsin was concerned, this was the end of her walking on eggshells. She found she wasn’t those punishing thoughts that told her she wasn’t worthy of love.

Tahsin realised her freedom in her true self, and saw that she wasn’t her shadow self. This helped her see, that even in moments of stress, she could modulate her behavior so that it was more positive and beneficial. Her work is now focused on identifying one’s “stress avatar” and modulating it to live a more fulfilling life.

Don’t let the word “stress” mislead you, it only indicates how you can positively behave even in moments of stress.

With this realisation, Tahsin was finally home!

And this homecoming not only helped her feel so much better about her life, it has also helped her improve her relationships, including a cordial relationship with her ex-husband.

And now she is ready to help those who feel like they’re lost, and would like to find their way back home, just as she did.

She now serves as a Confidence Specialist, and is dedicated to help men and women struggling with their self-esteem, to feel strong and confident to work towards their dreams, and accomplish their goals like a boss.

To learn more about her work, and to get in touch with her, you can check her website, or send her an email.

Website: www.tahsinzatman.com

Email: tahsin.zatman@gmail.com

LinkedIn: http://tinyurl.com/tahsinzatman

P.S. Checkout Tahsin’s interview hosted by the amazing Lorin Mask

Lorin Mask interviews Tahsin Zatman


About the Author

Sumit Sharma

Sumit is the Chief Storyteller at Coach Buzz Magic. He enjoys writing compelling stories of amazing coaches and sharing it on his Coach Spotlight media page. He also creates lively coaching websites, with SEO friendly content, that helps coaches shine and attract their ideal clients!

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