Category: Brave

Let it go

41- Dec 17-Let it goAs we near the end of the year it is perhaps an ideal time to look back and review the happenings in our personal life. Perhaps the three most important aspects of our life that we need to pay attention to are our relationships, our lifestyle and our job. Ideally no matter how each of those aspects of our life is, in an ideal world we would try to remain happy with the cards we are dealt. In fact most times we try our best to adjust to the situation even if we are not very happy it  partly because we worry about loss of face, partly because we fear change but largely because the world around us expects us to have a perfect life. It is also true that finding an alternative is challenging, making a decision to change is tougher but the toughest part is to admit to ourselves that we have to let it go if we are merely suffering in the relationship, lifestyle or job.

It is obvious that any drastic decision to be taken regarding any aspect of life has to be examined thoroughly, given sufficient time and effort so as to be sure it is not working out and then a firm decision taken if the surgery is to be done. Here are a few questions that one needs to honestly answer before you conclude that something important to you is not making you happy and that you have to let it go and cut it off from your life.

  • Is it really important to me?
  • Can I do without it?
  • How much am I responsible for not making it work for me?
  • I am being fair in my judgment?
  • What are the alternatives that I believe will work best for me?
  • How / what can I do to remedy the situation?
  • Should I seek another opinion before I give up?
  • Once I give up would I ever regret it?

The above are just suggestive questions and depending on each individual situation, one must ask the appropriate questions and more importantly objectively analyze the answers.

You must begin the change you want and you must reflect the change too.

Begin the New Year afresh with hope, dreams and passion.

Try these

  • List out 3- 5 changes you plan to bring in your life in the coming year. E.g. getting rid of a bad habit or inculcating a good habit
  • Outline three relationships you will attempt to strengthen in the coming year.
  • What is the one new thing you will dare to attempt in the coming year.
  • What is the one question that you seek an answer to?

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A true measure of your worth


Physical wealth, be it money and possessions are a good measure to judge how financially secure a person is. It is also a great asset to lead a reasonably good and comfortable life. It is also a good magnet to attract friends and widen one’s social circle. It is also a good inducement to garner support, influence opinion and climb ups the social ladder. However, physical wealth would be a poor indicator of a person’s true worth. This is because wealth can be created, acquired or inherited  but wealth can never buy reputation and good will which has to be earned, respect and recognition which comes from a deep appreciation of the individual in you, your sense of fair play and justice which comes from personal values and your emotional balance and empathy for others which comes from the heart.

We need to examine these a little more in detail to understand an individual’s true worth.

Reputation and goodwill : It take a life time to build a reputation and goodwill. It comes from doing the right things at the right time, avoiding the undesirable and being perceived as someone who is dependable, principled and balanced. It based on the general perception people have of an individual over a long period of time. It is often reflected in the simplicity, humility and achievements of an individual and society’s perception of these qualities.

Respect and Recognition: Respect and recognition comes with age and maturity. How a person has grown personally and professionally would have a large bearing on this. It could also come from the insightful contribution of the individual in his social and professional environment and the positive influence he/ she has had on those around them.

Fair play and justice: Displaying fair play and justice comes largely from being principled and this in turn is largely influenced by one’s upbringing, personal values and courage of conviction. The ability to hold a minority view point, the daring to express a dissenting note and tuning one’s moral compass in the direction of what is the truth.

Emotional balance and empathy: This is tougher to judge for individuals can display a different personality in private and be very different in public. However one cannot keep a quick temper, a giant size ego, a negative aura or a irrational outbursts only in the private space. How one deals with those at your mercy, with those who look up to you for support, those who differ from you in thought word and deed are primary pointers to an individual’s emotional balance and empathy.

When you attend a funeral where there is a large turnout, do you see some of the above points being reflected in that deceased persons life and it being a prominent reason for the large turnout?  Perhaps these are also critical considerations for others who will part with their last penny if ever you seek their help. Therein lies your real worth; what others value you for.

Try these:

  1. List out 5 qualities / values/ traits that you think others really value in you. Jot out a couple of qualities/ values / traits / habits that others criticize you for. What can you do improve upon those criticisms?
  2. What are the few social problems that really irritate and annoy you? What have you done about it? Is there anything more you can do about it?
  3. How will you deal with the following:
  • You answered 6 questions instead of 5 which was the norm. The teacher corrected all the answers and erroneously added the marks of the sixth question to the total as a result of which you passed the exam. Would you bring the error to the teachers notice or ignore it?
  • You are cleaning your cupboard and come across a book you had a borrowed from a college mate five years. When the college mate asked you return the book, since you could not find it, you lied to him/ her that you had returned it. The friend was upset with you since he/she did not recollect you returning the book.  A couple of years have gone by since that incident and you are not in touch with that college mate but you do know in which city he/ she is. Would you pick up courage to return the book and apologize to that friend? Alternatively what would you do?
  • You are on an outstation trip and while walking you stumble upon a wallet containing Rs.15,000. In that wallet you find some torn papers listing out a couple of names of individuals. It also has a dry cleaners bill of a certain city and a tailors bill of another city. The names on both these bills are different. Both the bills do not have any telephone numbers on it. What will you do?

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Do you have your scars ?

27-Do you have the scars

Taking the easy way out, is what most of us do when faced with a choice. Yet, our mettle is tested and out abilities judged by how we stood up to be counted when the chips are down. Volunteering in class, for example, is always a tough proposition because there is a very high probability of failing in the assigned task.  Yet, notice that the ones who usually volunteer to answer questions, take on a challenge are often the more brilliant ones or the real daring ones and occasionally an average joe who possibly has a more incisive motive. The rest of us do end up having a hearty laugh or a feeling of awe at the outcome of such daring. What we do not gain though, is the learning from the first hand experience, the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to try something different and display our inner strength no matter what the outcome.

Commitment is an essential trait of all successful people. As they say ‘when the going goes tough the tough get going’. Sharing messages on social media, trolling people, liking and disliking matter posted by others are simple and passive action. The challenge is to put into practice the exhortations in the messages. This means taking the initiative, being prepared to get bruised, being ready to learn from mistakes and giving all one has got. Success is not guaranteed but learning sure is. While failure could be a real possibility it is in the participation and scrimmage that one gains experience.

Daring is another trait of trailblazers. ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ is another old adage. There is always risk in attempting something new. However, if one has prepared well, you increase the chances of success. Yet, one can never know how much one has learned unless one dares and ventures to attempt and find out. Daring improves your self confidence, expands your own daring zone and most of all gives you bragging rights to say I tried it. While people would often only recall the winners, you would always remember every attempt you made. You will never forget  the lessons you learned, the success you enjoyed along the way and can proudly flaunt the bruises from the attempts to prove that you participated and didn’t stand on the sidelines to clap for others.

Try these:

  1. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do in your life. Make it exhaustive and vivid. Remember that when visualizing, imagining and  dreaming you just let your mind soar, your passion come alive and there are no constraints at all. Now identify 3- 5 of the most passionate dreams you have listed and work out a plan to attain them within a time frame set by you.
  2. In this week you are to do the following:
  • Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper about some social issue that you are passionate about.
  • Make an attempt to overcome some fear you have e.g. holding a snake / donating blood because you fear the prick of a needle / learning a new sport
  • Proactively bring about a positive change in your behavior that others notice and appreciate.
  • Buy 2 surprise gifts and give it to some random person who is least expecting it.

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The challenge is to turn around and…

11- 27 April 15- The challengeSo what are your fears; your apprehensions; your worries; your concerns? Are there issues you keep running away from, in the fond hope that those issues will sort themselves out over time? At times do you suddenly feel panicky, anxious, agitated, terrified, merely thinking about certain matters? If you answer Yes to any of the questions above, the good news is that you are not alone in trying to face your concerns; alas the bad news is that you have to face up to your fears all alone. True you have family and friends who will be supportive and encouraging but your fears are unique to you and it is a challenge to square up to it. Yet if a Helen Keller could lead a happy and productive life despite being born without the faculties of hearing and more critically sight, for most of us, our concerns would never be of that magnitude unless you let your mind imagine it to be of a much more serious nature.

Here is how you can stop running away from your worries and instead turn around and face your anxieties squarely and actually wrestle it down.

Take a fresh look at your problems. This is the toughest part of most problems because when we are fearful we lose focus, lack objectivity and tend to club different issues to imagine a huge problem. This is particularly true with our rocky relationships with others as it is regarding our monetary troubles as also with our work related concerns. Then again when we let our problems overwhelm us we are too terrified to pause and analyze our problem for it is a painful experience and one from which we would rather run away. Most problems exist because we let it remain in our mind and keep rerunning the tape to feel sorry for ourselves rather than to analyze what went wrong and what can be done to undo the damage or make a fresh start.

Work on finding a solution. Most problems are a result of our own casualness, negligence, inability to nip issues in the bud. Of course there are problems that happen suddenly like an accident or a mugging. In both cases, finding a solution should be our priority. However the normal tendency is to apportion blame, rationalize how the problem was not of your making and wallow in self pity. What is broken needs to be fixed, that which is an impediment has to be circumvented and what cannot be changed has to be accepted with grace and with the dignity to walk with your head held high.

Be grateful for your blessings. It is natural for us to magnify our problems and play down our blessings since we take our blessings for granted. Problems get magnified because we get obsessed by it. Our blessings become microscopic because when the going is good we take it as our right and never pay attention to it. It is only when we can put both our problems and our blessings on even keel that we can truly appreciate the enormity of our blessings and then realize that our problems are relatively insignificant in comparison. Ask yourself if your take your abundance of health, wealth and happiness for granted. Look around and see the humongous population around us who are relatively less blessed than us. In comparison to their problems are your problems relatively minor. Do you see them continue to laugh, love and live with hope. So what stops you from doing the same with the same energy and enthusiasm?

Think again. Stop running away and you will come face to face with the demons in your mind and for sure you can stare them down, trample over them, confront them with daring and make them slink away. Don’t let them chase you forever.

Try these:

Imagine yourself to be a perfectly normal human being with one exception; you have no limbs. How terrible would that be? Is that the worst thing that can happen to you and destroy your zest for life? Click on the link to discover how life is what you make it to be.

What will you do if you are told that the rest of your life is just less than a year away? Would you start asking why me? Would you go into depression? Click on this link to realize how one can be appreciative and grateful for all one has been given. 

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Be the first to make a difference to your life by…

14-17Aug14 -Standing first in lifeMistakes happen and when we realize it, we are often tempted to keep it under wraps. The logic used is that perhaps the mistake will never be noticed. Invariably though, mistakes do get noticed and the consequences are not too pleasant. The worst mistakes are those we make in our relationships. Here invariably we cannot hide the mistake but equally true is the realization that the mistake can strain and possibly break a relationship. It takes a lot of courage therefore, to admit to a mistake and apologize for it. We will be greatly relieved once we admit our mistake and sincerely apologize for it for that is when we discover our inner strength and character which in turn makes us brave enough to own up our fault. The consequences notwithstanding, be the first to admit to a mistake and apologize; for that is when your values and upbringing prop you up and define your personal and moral courage.

If you put yourself in the shoes of someone against whom a mistake has been committed, the natural reaction is to fly into a rage, seek revenge and hold grudges. Assume further that the mistake committed is by someone very close to you then you will definitely be seething with anger. If the other party has been brave enough to admit a mistake and apologize for the same, your character, upbringing and values will be severely tested at this point. How you react will be the defining moment for you. If you are harsh, rude and stubbornly unforgiving, it will belittle your personality. On the other hand if you can keep your rage in check, remain calm and composed when listening to the apology and thereafter magnanimously accept the apology and forgive the wrong doer, it will be testimony to your core values and inner strength.

It is relatively easier to apologize and to forgive, but is almost impossible to forget a hurt or slight suffered. Revenge, ill will and an eye for an eye are the normal dictums that keep buzzing in our mind. Invariably then, it is impossible to get rid of the feeling of hurt and forget the incident that triggered our angst. Unfortunately we do not realize that keeping a hurt alive only gnaws us from the inside; it seethes, it simmers, it is like an acid that corrodes the very container it is stored in. If one can imagine the futility of keep in mind a past hurt it would be easy to forgive and forget. The bad memories once erased offer space for more positive and pleasant thoughts to reside in the recess of the mind. It helps flower within us the seeds of happiness. Count blessings, forget hurts and live happy!

Try this:

Recollect a couple of negative feedback given to you by your

  • Teachers
  • Colleagues
  • Friends
  • Bosses
  • Family
  • Do you think any or most of it were unjustified? Did it help you improve? Do you still carry a hurt or grudge about any of the above persons who gave you a negative feedback?

List out names of 3 people (other than your family members) who have had a deep positive influence on you. Recount at least specific incident that you cherish about your interaction with that person.

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Let the truth prevail

Telling the truth may have often resulted in embarrassing situations, perhaps have left painful memories too and may have even triggered anger and fury completely disproportionate to the facts as revealed. Perhaps we may also sly grin at the escapades that we managed by suppressing the truth or outrightly lying. Look back dispassionately and perhaps you may also recall a number of times when the truth was guessed by others who because of their maturity, goodwill and / or need to protect you played along and kept things under wraps. On hindsight more often than not, every time you hid the truth you were left restless, burdened by guilt and with the Damocles sword of being found out looming over your head.

Even today if one were to tell the truth and it is an inconvenient truth, our body language would betray our fear, our quivering voice expose our vulnerability and our feeble attempts at justification would add to our misery. The good part though is that when we speak the truth, our heart is unburdened, the mind is at peace and the consequences seem bearable. Telling the truth is not simply a matter of articulating the reality but it also involves standing up for rights, standing by those wronged, refusing to toe the wrong line and standing up to a brute majority who may intimidate or attempt to cow you down.

The truth is that ‘fear’ is an overwhelming emotion that threatens to derail us telling the truth.  The best antidote for this malaise is the realization that the truth needs no ‘alibi’, it is all pervasive and when shared it shields the reality from being pricked and punctured in any form.  Yes, it is true that it takes a lot of courage to tell the truth and often our quivering voice will expose our human frailty; but the truth when spoken ‘shouts out aloud’ unshackled, unburdened and ubiquitously.

Action Points:

  1. Try playing the card game ‘ Bluff’. Notice how you can catch frequently catch another’s bluff and also how tough it is for you to bluff.
  2. Ask a close family member and an intimate friend to separately list out 5 aspects of your personality that they believe you need to improve upon. When reading the list be aware of the emotions that run through your mind on reading each criticism jotted down by them. How many of the points they mentioned are absolutely true? What and how do you propose to make use of this truth to improve yourself?

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How to ignite the spirit of courage

“When you have no choice, mobilize the spirit of courage” Jewish Proverb

When we look around us there are times when we feel dispirited, disheartened and deflated and it just gets worse when there are many others like that around us. We are then left wondering if there is any hope for us and if life has anything meaningful t to offer us. These are times when we wished we didn’t have to go through this painful and apparently hopeless process. No matter who one is, no matter how rich and powerful, no matter how intelligent or smart one is, low points in life will always be a part of living. Death is one low point that is a great leveler and is the one common denominator of sadness, pain and hopelessness that binds all living beings.

The average human being is often commonly plagued by the lows that follow death of a loved one,  fear of failure and worry about the future. Death is a reality that we must make peace with and accept with equanimity. It spares none and can come most unexpectedly. While affection and love will always tug at the heart and trigger emotions of various hues we need to pick up the pieces and get back on track at the earliest. Since human beings cannot remain isolated, unemotional or unaffected one would need to delve into the personal resources of rationale, courage and acceptance which would form the foundation of the spirit of courage that will pull us out of the quagmire of grief.

Fear of failure is omnipresent too. No one can ride on past success for each one of us has to script a new success story everyday. Ironically, the fear of failure is just as prevalent amongst the rich as much as it is prevalent amongst the poor, it is found in equal measure amongst both the brilliant and those who are below average and spares neither the urban population nor the rural folks. Since we cannot insulate ourselves from this fear the next best thing we can do is to ensure that fear of failure does not overwhelm us. Self belief is the key to open the doors of courage. Resilience and hard work provide the steps to the ladder of success.  It also helps to be planned, prepared and persistent for then we would be better equipped to face failure without hurting ourselves too much in the process.

Since the future is the unknown that is both a mystery and an opportunity rather than view it with trepidation, we must look at it in anticipation. View the future like a hand of cards dealt by the dealer when playing a game of bridge or poker. It is only once we have the cards that we can play the game.  Just as we look forward with anticipation eager to know the hidden cards, which if it is a poor hand we fold and wait for the next game, so too must we see each day. Patience, hope and the daring to take calculated risks be it in playing or packing up are the mantras to muster courage and fire up the spirit. Fearing the future is perhaps the most passive and sure fire way to lose ones way in the maze called life. Instead anticipate the changes, prepare for it and plod into it with gusto and presto we discover the truth ‘that life is an adventure to be lived not a mystery to solved.’

Remember:  “Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Try this:

  1. Here is a wonderful link to the Video titled the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch  ( Do you think you can manage something like what he did under similar circumstances? If your answer is yes…go on attempt to write your own epitaph)
  2. Here are a few realities of life. How do you visualize each of them
  • Monthly bills to be paid
  • Some illness in the family
  • Some celebrations that occur
  • An unexpected surprise or shock
  • Retirement
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Winning a lottery/ inheritance/ gift/ an award

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To see the valley you need to go to the edge

In order to find the edge, you must risk going over the edge. Dennis Dugan

Except for those who have a morbid fascination with the taking risks and walking the tightrope daily, the overwhelming majority is risk averse and prefers to play safe.  Yet in our day to day life many a decision we take has an element of risk associated with it that is inescapable; be it simply crossing the road, eating in a way side eatery or making friends online. However consciously flirting with risk is not really everyone’s cup of tea and the rare times we are forced to take the risks we weigh all the options, try to insurance against the worst case scenario and take a decision with great trepidation.

Yet there are times when the inner urge, the sheer lure of temptation and an inexplicable attraction draws us to experiment with risks. These could be in diverse spheres of life, be it in adventure sports like paragliding or sky diving or it could be risks in taking leveraged positions in the stock markets or even in relationships where the consenting parties are completely incompatible by the yardsticks of this world yet share a strange intimate bonding even though it may be fragile. What is common to these risks is that the danger is real, it is perceptible and yet it is that danger which we are willing to risk that gives the high to those who seek glory, happiness and success.

The circus provides a live and evergreen example of people who find the edge and take the risks. Each act and each performance is fraught with risks despite the fact that the parties are well trained and well equipped. The participants know the risks and yet revel in displaying their risk taking abilities and find ecstasy in the thunderous applause of the audience. In our growing up years, many of us have also taken such risks by not studying enough for the exams and daring to attempt the question papers. Choosing a career too has an element of risk but it is setting up an independent business that really brings one to the edge of the precipice for there are teething troubles, issues with scaling up and getting customers and payments always remain a daily challenge. Yet the sense of freedom to operate, the pride of having established ones self and the possibility of ramping up the operations often give us the daring to take the plunge.

For the modern generation who are brought up on a liberal dose of reality TV, it is these very TV auditions that provide the risk, the reward and also loudly rings the death knell to the ambitions of many a hopeful . Unless one dares to participate one can never knows ones mettle and when one gets rejected and is told the bitter truth of being incompetent or not being good enough one has already gone over the edge and the fall is harsh, hard and heavy. There are other times when someone has to bite the bullet and express the truth in relationships. Initiating a divorce is perhaps one of the toughest chasm that one of the two partners/ spouses has to boldly initiate, which often is much to the chagrin of the other. If both parties are mature the divorce is often by mutual consent and the relationship continues harmoniously despite the relationship having walked along the edge for a long long time.

Remember: “You have to risk going too far to discover just how far you can really go.”  Jim Rohn

Try this:

  1. Watch some of the videos of wild life enthusiasts who take risks photographing and observing the wild animals.  Here is a video link to the antics of the Steve Irwin the Crocodile Man
  2. You will also enjoy this motivational clip ‘Even Eagles need a push’ that emphasizes the need for baby eagles to be pushed over the edge to discover their Eagle Power to soar the skies.
  3. Make a list of the riskiest thing you did when
  • You were in school
  • You were in college
  • At your work place
  • When in a relationship
  • When confronted by another powerful adversary (eg. Principal/  boss at work/ burglar etc.)

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The straight road to happiness

I believe half the unhappiness in life comes from people being afraid to go straight at things. William J. Locke

When we look around and see the sheer extent of the way the malady of unhappiness has spread all over we wonder why those with ample material wealth, people who have well sheltered lives and socially well accepted people form the bulk of those who are unhappy. On closer scrutiny we make the painful discovery that happiness is an inside thing and our insides can be happy when we are at peace with ourselves. Outlined are three interesting reasons why most of us are not at peace with ourselves and it all boils down to just one thing; our inability to traverse the straight and narrow path.

One human frailty is our penchant to find short cuts for all our tasks. We start all new tasks with great enthusiasm and interest, but soon find that the task gets repetitive, boring and even painful when done over a long period of time. This is partly because anything that is done over and over again tends to lose its original sheen and obviously when we gain some expertise the challenge in the task is lost and we slowly lose the motivation that lured us to perform well. Then the urge is to find faster ways to do the task, easier ways to do the task and innovative ways to cut down the effort or eliminate the tough parts. The trouble is that in this quest, we end up taking some questionable means, some not so correct ways and often we end up messing up the task and doubling the original effort to correct it. If only we stick to the straight and time tested path we would achieve much more unless of course we have some well studied and well developed alternatives that make the task simpler.

Another human weakness is our inability to clearly and directly communicate our real feelings, wants and needs. When we are particularly shy or diffident about something, we tend to be obscure and vague in communicating our requirements. If you are an employee you will realize how frustrating it is when you feel your contribution is not reflected in your annual appraisal and increment and yet you do not have the daring to take it up with the concerned officials directly. You are more likely to crib and rave and rant with your colleagues who sympathize with you but can do little else. Similarly, most people who are in love will never pop the question for fear of rejection and will continue to give subtle hints and leads whilst not responding forthrightly to similar overtures from the other party. The most commonly seen miscommunication is telling white lies. This implies not reveling the truth by camouflaging it in verbosity or obfuscation. Perhaps being a little more straight and direct in communication would have yielded the right results faster and perhaps favorably too.

By not taking a decisive stand on any issue, the vast majority of us end up as fence sitters who would wait to see which way the wind is blowing before we commit. Fence sitters adopt a play safe approach and as a result do not have either clarity in their thinking nor do they make a firm commitment to anything. Politicians who often change their stand, change parties, indulge in double speak are a classic breed of those who refuse to toe a straight line simply because they want to change the lines often and as per their needs. Each one of is also guilty of either outrightly lying if we are in a big fix or apportioning  blame on others, deflecting  the issue or simply denying or feigning ignorance about it. Not a straight way to handle the situation and the fear of being caught will always haunt and then there is no more happiness with a Damocles sword over ones head.

Remember: “There are four ways you can handle fear. You can go over it, under it, or around it. But if you are ever to put fear behind you, you must walk straight through it. Once you put fear behind you, leave it there.” Donna A. Favors

Try this:

  1. You are accompanying your best friend to meet the doctor who is to give an update about your friend’s biopsy report. Your friend is extremely nervous and so are you. You meet the doctor who smiles but seems tense and ill at ease. Assume that the doctor has to convey terrible news how would you want the news to be conveyed?
  2. Your boss has dictated an important letter to his secretary which has numerous figures and statistics. You are to check the letter and then give it to the boss for his signature. A week after the letter has been dispatched, the secretary informs you that she has noticed a very serious typographically error in the letter which can be potentially very damaging to the company. How would you tackle this situation?

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Self belief is the key

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt

Nothing feels worse than the bitter taste of being accused of being a fool in front of people by some megalomaniacs who go out of their way to use their power and position to humiliate, insult and trample upon your ego. We do not retaliate simply because we are helpless in the presence of authority and possibly are too frightened to face the consequences of retaliation.  While not retaliating for one’s own good is common sense it is the deep humiliation that rankles us, which is what we need to objectively analyze and get control off.

To begin with we need to understand that the sick feeling we get in the pit of our stomach when insulted and humiliated is because of our primary feeling of being made to feel inferior in front of others. If we see it objectively, there is no reason why we need to feel that way because the faux pas is committed by the other party in attempting to run us down. That in no way means that we are not competent or capable and we should never let that feeling pervade our senses or our psyche.  However we are by temperament sensitive and while deep in our hearts we know that have our solid merits, our mind plays tricks and a seed of doubt starts sprouting. For no apparent reason we being to start doubting our abilities, question the motives of those who question our abilities and mentally juggle the humiliation seeking to find proof that we are not what is insinuated.

There are times when we fall into the trap of self depreciation and undermine our own strengths and abilities. When our mindset itself is skewed to doubts and failure, the slightest suggestion that we are in some way not meeting the standards makes feel inferior and worthless. We tend to harp psychologically on the minor mistakes we may have committed and then blow it out of proportion and conclude that we are not capable. Ironically when we have major achievements to our credit, we underplay it as something that is expected of us and so not of special significance. On the other hand if we believed in ourselves we may be subdued in our successes but definitely we would at least seek to clarify mattes if we our credentials or abilities are questioned or challenged.

What is common to the two reactions viz. the feeling of being made to feel inferior and the undermining of our own abilities is that we are responsible for both situations. If we had the self belief in ourselves and the courage of conviction to stand up to showcase our achievements we would never have to ever feel hurt, insulted or humiliated. Obviously then there is no feeling of being inferior to anyone and we actually have the daring to side step any false insinuations with dignity and self confidence.  It is when we give our consent to let people get away with false propaganda against us and when we do not take a proactive step to correct wrong impressions that is when we let ourselves feel inferior. The antidote is to think positive, have a winner’s mindset and project our true strengths to the world at large.

Remember: “While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, another is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.”  Henry C. Link

Try this:

  1. Make a list of the 5 most challenging achievements you have managed to date.  Outline the key factors that helped you succeed. Was your own self belief a major reason for your success?
  2. Ask yourself how often other peoples negative comments about your work or contribution have made you feel insecure, hurt and worthless?  Were those comments of the others really justified? How could you have responded differently and corrected the false impression they have about you?

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