Overcome your inferiority complex

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Published: Thu 14 Jul 2022, 10:44 AM

Inferiority complex is an awful hurdle in your path that turns your thoughts and stunts your growth. I myself have battled this enemy for more than three decades, but eventually overcame it.

By Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar

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It all started in my childhood. When I came to Mumbai for my secondary education, I was not acquainted with the urban etiquette, lifestyle and language. My fellow students made fun of my coarse and rural language. It made me nervous and I developed a stutter. I became shy and diffident, developing an inferiority complex that created a fear of public speaking and made me avoid activities involving elocution, storytelling or debating.

This inferiority complex also caused insults. When I entered business, my father assigned me the responsibility of purchasing spices for our shop. Knowing that I was a novice in the business, a trader from the market would always tease me with sarcastic words. He would say: “Hey man! Business is not your cup of tea. Your community is not known for entrepreneurial skills. Better go and find a job. You are only good at serving others.” These remarks would really annoy me, but I couldn’t give him a befitting reply.

Even after becoming the managing director of our company, the inferiority complex never left me. I would avoid public functions and business seminars as I was reluctant to participate in group conversations there. But one day I had to face the challenge. The Indian community in Dubai had organised a function where they felicitated some successful Indian entrepreneurs including me. The host unexpectedly asked me to deliver a speech. I panicked and told him my difficulty to which he smiled and replied: “Sir, it is not as difficult as you think. Narrate your journey in simple words just like you tell a story to your kids.” He left no option for me.

I stood before the crowd and became tense at once. But in a couple of minutes, I started speaking slowly. I started my speech with my childhood memories and began describing my journey thus far. Just then a miracle happened. My words became organised and automatically a flow came to my narration. When I finished my speech, the entire crowd was clapping and cheering. That was the moment when my stage fright and inferiority complex disappeared forever. Since then, I have delivered hundreds of lectures without hesitation or fear.

Friends, always think positively and confidently about everything even if it is not your personality. Don’t fall prey to criticism. Instead, awaken the courage and keep going. Eleanor Roosevelt aptly said: “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face...we must do that which we think we cannot.”

Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading.

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