When I finished my BTech, instead of feeling on top of the world, I felt dejected and defeated.
Till I went to IIT, like any teenager, I felt that I could accomplish anything – I felt bullet-proof. But during college, for the first time in my life, I felt that I was mediocre. Every semester, when the grade sheet came, my confidence dipped one more notch.
By the end of my BTech, I knew that I was not good enough – though I would have been loath to admit it. In fact, I was so disgruntled that I wanted to have nothing to do with engineering. I did not take up any of my job offers and instead wrote the Civil Services exam.
But once I joined the Civil Services, I felt something change. It was a new environment – a new setting. In some sense, it was a fresh start and in my mind, I could write off my mediocre academic performance at IIT. Once again, I felt like my old self – my confidence came back in no time.
What had changed? Nothing in real terms – I was just as capable or dumb. But our confidence does not always reflect out objective capabilities.
If you go through a bad job, it will shatter your confidence – in fact, that is the very definition of a bad job. And a good job does the opposite.
Our confidence is hugely a function of our most recent experiences. So anytime in your life, if you feel low in confidence or inadequate, remember that it is probably not about you – it is just about what has been happening in your life.
Don’t get caught up in that mind trap.
Give yourself a fresh start – find a new job or a new boss or change whatever was weighing you down, and your self-belief will be back in no time.