We can all feel inferior to others at certain times. Everyone is different and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. An Inferiority complex tends to happen when we compare ourselves unfavourably to others. However, we never really know what is really going on in their head. A person that comes across as extremely confident and self-assured could well be having the same thoughts and feelings as you.
There’s a big difference between not having all the talents and skills that you wish to possess and holding the belief that you’re fundamentally flawed.
How is an inferiority complex developed and what is the solution? Creating an inferiority complex requires a fair amount of effort. It’s not easy to take a couple of perceived shortcomings and then convince yourself that you’re incapable, unworthy or ineffective. Although, it might take effort and energy to develop an inferiority complex, as humans, we seem to be rather capable of limiting ourselves in this way.
The good news is that you can reverse this process! How do you do that? How do you overcome this habitual tendency to put yourself down? Well, here are my 8 strategies to conquer your inferiority complex and feel your confidence and self-worth soar:
1. Control your self-talk.
The low self-esteem and despondency that are prevalent in an inferiority complex are affected by the words you say to yourself. You can say things that support the belief that you’re inferior, or you can be your own best friend. It’s your choice! Monitor your self-talk and keep it positive.
Try saying the opposite to yourself when you notice a negative thought. For example, “I can’t do anything right” becomes, “I can do anything I set my mind to.”
2. Realise that others aren’t thinking about your shortcomings.
Inferiority is rooted in your perception that others think little of you. The truth is that most people aren’t thinking about you at all. This is actually a good thing!
It’s easy to prove this to yourself. Go to a shopping mall and visit several stores. Act in an unusual way (for you) in each store. Limp in one store. Stutter while in another store. You get the idea. Notice that no one reacts.
Everyone else is too busy with their own issues to concern themselves with yours. You’re much freer than you realise. Also think about how little you notice about other people. Why should other people be any different?
3. Watch out for “all or nothing” thinking
It’s common to fall into the trap of believing that one perceived flaw is the route of all of your challenges. All or nothing (or black or white) thinking is dangerous. Your life won’t magically improve in all areas because you find a partner, lose 10 kilo’s, or get a new job with a 20% pay rise. The world is not black or white, it’s shades of multiple colours! It is often a number of small consistent changes that makes a difference in the longer term.
4. Have a friend list your best qualities.
You don’t have an accurate opinion of yourself, but a good friend could list your strengths. Ask for examples if you don’t believe them. It’s hard to be accurate when judging yourself.
5. Focus on your accomplishments.
There are things that you successfully accomplish each day. Many of them are small. Getting to work on time or remembering your friend’s birthday are worthy accomplishments. Give yourself a pat on the back for everything you do well each day. It’s not always easy to get through the day successfully. You’re actually doing better than you think.
6. Consider what you need to stop feeling inferior.
Is overcoming the flaw that concerns you under your control? If you’re over 18, you’re not likely to get any taller. However, you can increase your income, confidence or enhance your social skills.
Imagine that you have this new characteristic. Does it feel natural to you? Or do you feel as if you’re pretending to be someone else? Redefine and clarify your vision until you feel comfortable in it.
7. Avoid generalisations.
It might be true that you’re short, fat, or messy. Nevertheless, that doesn’t suggest that you’re unintelligent or lack a sense of humour. Make a list of your characteristics that make you feel inferior.
To whom do you feel inferior? Successful people? Your co-worker, John? In what ways is John better than you?
8. Inferiority complexes arise from wanting to be like someone else.
You’re a unique individual and you can never be a better “John” than John is. Avoid trying. You can’t impersonate someone else while being true to yourself. It’s much better to be authentic, genuine and let your own personality shine through.
As soon as you try to be someone you’re not, you send yourself the unconscious message that you’re not good enough.
The Key Takeaway
Feeling inferior in some ways is common and might even be accurate. However, you’re not inferior in a way that limits your life unless you allow your imagination to get the better of you. Focus on your strengths, control your self-talk, and understand that no one is watching. Letting go of your inferiority complex will bring you the joys of a newfound confidence and freedom.
To your success.