Having lived in the U.S. for a few years now, it’s hard to not notice the difference in the average confidence of an American as compared to an Indian. Don’t quote me because I am not stating any facts based on stats here, this is purely based on my experience. Chime in if you feel/don’t feel the same way.
The lack of confidence amongst Indians when placed in a global cosmopolitan setting stems from the underlying inferiority complex that they constantly feel with respect to their fellow light-skinned counterparts. Years of suppression under the British rule has somehow ingrained this “less-than” feeling that seems to have quite a tenacious grip on our conscience. Before we protest racism and discrimination by color, it is important that we first take measures and pass down values that erase this innate discrimination that we put ourselves through, be it consciously or unconsciously.
As far as confidence is concerned, it’s quite convenient to think that only the British rule is responsible for our tribulation. The way we were brought up plays a part too. Indian culture to a certain extent not only undermines the potential of young children but also invariably spoils/pampers them, giving way to highly dependent adults. Often, young children are never asked for their opinions on anything, their brain is never stimulated to make decisions and even if opinions are presented by them to adults, they are often suppressed/not valued. This is bound to create adults who have not only felt undervalued all their lives but also don’t feel befitted to take their own decisions. Furthermore, they feel entitled to have their decision made for them.
And if you really want stats, here’s one for you – “An HSBC report states, around 55 percent of Indian parents still provide financial support to their adult children”. It’s important that we teach our children to be financially independent as soon as they hit adulthood. Financial independence is not only about not having to depend on your parents for money, but it’s also so much about being confident in your own skin. As millennials, this step is ours to take.
Falling back on your parents when nothing works out can no longer be your plan B. Go out into the world, headstrong about making a career for yourself where financial stability is the last thing you seek from your parents or from your spouse. Confidence is not something you are born with; it’s achieved over years and is inbred through your upbringing. We as millennials not only need to imbibe this philosophy but also make our kids stick by it.