I have been having a bad day. I know it could be a random mood swing, but I have been slightly (or a lot) irritated at some things. And just when it got to a point that I could take no more, I received a mail. A very sweet and cute mail saying something on the lines of ‘I usually don’t write a lot of guest posts.” I laughed, like I always do while reading a lot of his posts.

He even offered to scrap the whole of it if I don’t like it! Well well time for some non-jokes stuff. His post took me by surprise not because it was very good, which it was, but because it sort of formed an answer to all of the answers inside my head. Like his words were godsend in that moment. 

Sid blogs at I wrote those and his posts are quirky, funny and have an insane element of always finding space in your life. Yes they will be things you cannot deny and of course always laugh at too. His recent post, Kyun, Queue is a perfect example of that. I recently stumbled upon his blog and I must say, I thanked my stars for it. And it doesn’t just stop at this, his mail which came along with the guest post reeked of immense humility and yes his wonderful message minutes back on facebook read as, “I hope you are not staying up to put up only the post, you could have done it tomorrow”. 

Well well, yes I will stop. Now I will let him speak. 😀 Here he is Mr Sid Balachandran himself for the first time on The Philospher’s Stone!


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Let’s start on a bit of a positive note. Today, I’m an optimistic person. I take each day as it comes, and try not to worry too much about anything. I am pretty confident in what I say or write and most of all, I believe…. in myself, in my abilities, in my God, in my friends, in my family, and of course, in you, my readers. I’m a believer. But I wasn’t always like this.

For a really long time, actually until quite recently, I had this little voice inside my head, constantly talking to me. Don’t worry! Like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory says “I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested!”.

This little voice has helped me make and take some crucial decisions in my life – academically, professionally and even personally. But here’s the thing – the voice has not always been supportive or inspirational. Rather most of the times, it’s been a demotivation, so to speak. Actually, come to think of it,
I don’t think it’s ever said anything positive to me.

The voice constantly told me “You aren’t going to be able to do it! You’re just not good enough. You are such a failure compared to your peers!”

Every time I set myself an objective, the voice would taunt me. If I attained the objective, it would leave me alone for bit. Every time I lost, the voice would strip out every bit of self-dignity I had saying, “I told you!” It would even pilfer every last bit of happiness that I had left in my heart. Every. Single. Time.

As you can possibly imagine, this led me into a downward spiral. Though I’ve enjoyed a reasonable share of success as a child, as I grew up, I started doubting my abilities. I lost the confidence I had as a child. In spite of being more than qualified for some the professional roles I applied for, I felt I was not a fit for the role. As a child I loved to write, but this voice even destroyed that as it feasted on my self-doubts, insecurities and lack of confidence and became more powerful with each passing day. In time, the voice engulfed me with a feeling of worthlessness.

My wife, bless her good heart, tried a lot to get me out of this rut that I was in. I had a pretty decent job that I was good at, and we had a social life – but inside, the voice was always there, jeering at me and mocking my failures.

One day, my wife brought me a small bookmark, which had the following quote printed on it.

“When you doubt your power, you give

power to your doubt.” ~Honore de Balzac

That was the changing point in my life. In spite of having read numerous “Positive Thought” books and even joining a few “Art of Living sort-of-classes”, that single quote jolted me back into reality, with a realization. The voice in my head was a manifestation of my own self-doubts.

And yes, the more I self-loathed, the more poisonous and powerful the voice became.

I’ll be honest. The change from feeling completely worthless to believing in myself wasn’t an overnight journey. It has taken its time. And of course there were a lot of steps involved. Today, keeping with Richa’s “I Believe” theme, I’d like to share my five-step plan that helped me believe in myself again.

Recall your skills

Yes, I admit, there are times when you feel you may not have many skills. But trust me, each of us do. Sometimes we miss the obvious…the facts that are right in front of you.

The next time people compliment you -etch it in your mind.  Remember that they do it, because you’re good at it. And recollect these in times of need or when you’re feeling low. You’ll immediately start feeling better and start to believe in yourself again.

Love yourself

Clichéd as it sounds this is of utmost importance. When the chips are down, you turn into your own worst enemy. The key here is to remember that you are your own best friend. So treat yourself better, because you deserve better. Let me try and simplify that with an example:

If your best friend were down, demotivated and upset, what would you do?

Would you support them and concentrate on their wins/successes and positives or would you kick them when they’re down? Then why wouldn’t you do the same for yourself?Remember that you are always more capable and worthy than you probably give yourself credit for. Trust yourself.

Mute those toxic detractors

Just like the little voice in my head, there are actually people who specialize in making you feel hopeless. They believe everything is impossible, and will be the first to shoot down any ideas that you may have to get out of your misery.

Seek and surround yourself with supportive people who share your same passions and who can inspire you. They’re there everywhere – in your family, friends, books, blogs, maybe even on social networking sites. They help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and get you working towards it.

Try, even when you feel you don’t have a shot

Having a bad or negative mindset is what stops us from attempting things that we are not comfortable with. Yes, not everyone can be successful at everything; if we could, the world would just be filled with similar people and we’d lose the uniqueness that each of us have. Worse, if we never try new things, we’ll never make progress. So hold on to that belief that you can do it, and push ahead.

Help others

Helping others is an important step in reclaiming or improving your confidence. When we help others, we often get a much better view of what we’re capable of as individuals. It gives you a sense of self-worth; it makes you feel that you’re capable of doing whatever you set your mind on; it instills a phenomenal sense of fulfillment – it helps you believe in yourself again. And of course, you can expect their support too.

You might wonder what gives me the right to “preach” on how to regain one’s self-confidence, when I’ve been down in the dumps for the better part of my adult life. The reason’s simple – It’s because I’ve been there. I know how it is to feel worthless; that nagging feeling that stops you from even attempting things that you know in your heart you’re good at. I’ve pulled myself out of that mess to get to a place where I believe in myself, more strongly than ever before. And I believe that others can do it too, with a little motivation and whole lot of support.

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