23-year-old Nishant Kaur had his career of becoming a Merchant Navy Officer all mapped out. He worked diligently towards it and finally got the much-awaited job offer. Unfortunately, his internal battles with anxiety and emotional dependence came in the way of him being to able to take the final leap. Here is his story…

At the age of 16, while others were grappling with what they wanted to do with their life, I had my career clearly charted out for me. I knew that I wanted to become a Merchant Navy Officer. The perks of the job were simply irresistible; the salary was good, I would be travelling to exotic places for free and there was something about being overseas that gave me a sense of thrill and adventure. My uncle’s fascinating stories as a Merchant Navy Officer only fueled my passion further.


I worked hard towards achieving my goal. I took up the mandatory combination of Physics, Chemistry and Maths and aced it. I gave a great emphasis on my fitness and passed all the necessary tests to get into the world of Merchant Navy. All of it paid off as I got a confirmation and could finally see my dream career within my reach. But sadly, I couldn’t get myself to take the final step as my own internal demons started haunting me.

My palms and feet would get all sweaty with the thought of me being away on the ship. I started developing anxiety issues. Various thoughts started plaguing me. I always had an emotional dependency upon my friends and family. What would I do without them? How will I manage to be away months together from everybody, with nobody to guide me or give me assurance and validation? Who would be there to help me?

The many factors that attracted me towards my career became my source of anxiousness. I had come this far but just couldn’t get myself to take the last leap and asked for a delay in the joining date. I could feel my dream career slipping away from my hands and was ridden with remorse and regret. I went through a phase of self-loathing and was very angry at my shortcomings. Seeing my state, my mother urged me to go for counseling.

I am really glad that I paid heed to her advice as counselling really helped me conquer my anxiety issues and emotional dependency. It made me change my perception towards the whole situation and also come up with some effective techniques to handle my attacks of uneasiness. Thanks to therapy, I no longer feared being on the ship.

Today, I am glad to say that I have finally beaten my inner demons and am looking forward to turning my aspiration of joining the Merchant Navy into a reality.

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Also read: Breaking the glass ceiling.