Stay strong, stay inward-focused

Sridhar Seshadri

Sridhar Seshadri

3 mins read

What makes us human is our emotions, but the unfortunate part is we are pressed hard by the feeling of fear. As Joan Kingsley says, "Fear is the most primitive emotion we have, and people use it mindlessly." 

My advice to all the young and older people is to start living free, start living in your skin with comfort, stop fearing the unknown, and that can only happen if you have an inward focus in life and you do a real introspection.

Courage is what it takes to face hard times, and I say that with my experience. Situations that produce fear in us depend on multiple factors such as trying to be a winner or avoiding to be a failure, fear induced by bosses, negative people, or manipulators to who get what they want from by tapping our insecurities.

I have a short story to share so that we can connect on this subject a little better.

So it goes like this: I joined a big brand multi-national firm in a mid-management role. The manager under whom I rolled per hierarchy had a style of asking too many questions in a tone that made people feel terrible about themselves - or so did I think - like other people. He would walk into the conference room, and my heart would pounce out of fear - a very unusual phenomenon that I never faced in my career before. My mind would fill with self-doubt even before he would start asking questions. This situation of constant fear pushed me to introspect. Today, I feel thankful that I had a boss like him who helped me realize that it is my choice to be confident, and not budge to the pressure but face it courageously.

It took practice and effort to get over this. I started to show courage and ask questions in response. I began to anticipate and prepare more and show the courage to face my fears well. In a month, I realized the boss had changed his approach to interacting with me, and things started to become better. And honestly, that didn't change for many of others who never showed courage to move beyond it. 

After a while, I found a personal training program, and when I shared my above story with the coach, he advised me to check what caused the situation based on the following factors.

a) factors that are external - things you can't change in life

b) factors that are internal - something you can change in life

He advised if internal - start working hard with regular introspection and see the positive change. If external, see how to change the ecosystem to avoid the situation. I failed to understand what is internal and what is external in my early life. I have been in situations where I used to blame people - like in the above story, and I conveniently accused the boss of being a terrible person. I learned it after this personal coach advised me to do a real introspection.