How To Overcome Inferiority Complex: Signs And Symptoms
Recognizing Your Inner Greatness
Sometimes, I can never help the feeling that I’m not good enough. There’s always someone out there that’s a little – or a lot – better than me. It’s like I see myself in all these photos but somehow I’m out-of-focus; I’m often in the background, photo bombing someone else’s success story. There’s always a part of me that wants to do more (and thinks) I can but there’s another part that doesn’t believe I should even try because I won’t be the best at it. It’s like being stuck between a desire to be noticed and a fear of humiliation.
One of the hardest things to do is accept that no one is inferior or superior to another. It’s not uncommon to fall into spells of low self-esteem, to feel insecure about yourself, and at some point, feel inferior to the people around you, or on the internet. Unfortunately, these spells can become a bigger problem if left unchecked – an inferiority complex.
An inferiority complex is the [mostly] unconscious feeling of inadequacy that stems from real or imagined instances of feeling significantly inferior to others. It’s important to know the difference between a passing moment of low self-esteem and an inferiority complex.
The feeling of inferiority can usually be found on a spectrum between:
i) Knowing that you are smart/beautiful/talented, etc. and still feel an overwhelming feeling of not being good enough and, ii) Seeing all of your flaws as the reason – as proof – that you are inferior to others.
Both of which still hinder you from being the best you in the long run.
Signs Of Inferiority Complex (What Happens On The Surface)
- You start behaving in a submissive manner. It’s safe to say that thoughts become actions and you may begin to act in certain ways according to how you perceive yourself. You avoid eye contact, you speak timidly, you become passive, and lack the desire to assert yourself with others. You end up catering to others without your own interests in mind.
- Your fear of inadequacy and your habit of comparing yourself to others leads you to become a perfectionist. Concentrating on not being “good enough” can often become an obsession on making everything around you compensate for what you think you lack. Thus, your strife for non-existent perfection feeds into your inferiority when you fail to achieve it.
- You start to procrastinate because of your fear of failure. More and more, your procrastination becomes inaction because of the sensitivity you now feel towards failing a particular activity.
- You start distracting others from your flaws or excessively try to hide them. You try to control how others see you, “ensuring” they don’t see your flaws – hoping you’ll avoid their judgments too. Unfortunately, it causes you to become overly self-conscious and possibly draw more attention to what you’re trying to hide.
Symptoms Of Inferiority Complex (How It Manifests Itself)
- You start to become extremely sensitive to criticism and compliments. You start to question the sincerity behind a positive comment and harbor bad feelings from all types of criticism, sometimes getting defensive and possibly aggressive.
- Some people resort to judging and degrading others. They belittle others’ efforts to try and boost their self-esteem. They always try to draw attention away from their own failures but pointing out, and exaggerating others.
- Dealing with an inferiority complex often leads to social withdrawal. You feel unworthy of being in the company of others and want to avoid that feeling by avoiding situations where you believe you are at risk of being compared to your “superior” counterparts.
- Most of us, as we see with the wide adoption of social media, resort to seeking attention. We fish for compliments through likes and will often resort to excessive tactics to get attention.
How To Overcome Inferiority Complex?
- Don’t Compare
Stop comparing yourself to others. I know, it ain’t that easy but if you really feel compelled to compare something, compare yourself to you. Compare you to the “future you”. Allow that to fuel your actions and direct you towards your OWN dreams.
- Identify What Makes You Feel Inferior
Consider what makes you feel inferior to others. Really think about whether or not you need to feel that way. Most times, we put ourselves against people who we have nothing in common with. We idolize snippets of their lives out of context and allow ourselves to use that as our unreachable pedestal. No two people are the same, not even twins. Take the time to point out the things around you that make you feel inadequate and ask yourself – really ask yourself – if you need them/ can avoid them. There’s nothing wrong with blocking out people, things, and distractions that will guarantee you unhappiness.
- Practice Self-Compassion
Give yourself a break. Find a balance between self-criticism and self-compassion. Be kinder to yourself. Prioritize your happiness and mental well-being over your need to prove yourself.
The real key to overcoming an inferiority complex is to recognize your uniqueness. Accept that no person can be of lower value than another.
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