We all have gone through phases in our life when we are shackled by self doubt and low self confidence. Many of us may have had moments where we take a negative comment about ourselves personally and we end up looking at it as a personal rejection and it takes a long time to let such comments slide. In such moments we encounter feelings of inferiority complex.
Inferiority complex is a set of beliefs that we hold about ourselves where we always assign less value to ourselves in comparison to others. It is a composite of low self-worth, doubt and uncertainty, and feelings of not measuring up to standards.
Hrithik Roshan, one of the most sought-after superstars used to suffer from an inferiority complex as he used to stammer during his childhood. Inferiority complex manifests in our lives constantly and continuously & affects our relationships, performance & our self perception in covert & overt manner. It is often unconscious and may arise out of deep seated insecurities especially when we put ourselves down and put others on a pedestal. When we have feelings of inferiority, we keep comparing ourselves with others and always end up selling ourselves short. We tend to maximize our flaws and discount our strengths.
WHAT CAUSES INFERIORITY COMPLEX
- Childhood Experiences – If we have been constantly compared to our siblings, peers or partners and been evaluated in a negative light then there are chances that it might lead to feelings of not being good enough.
- Criticism – Perceiving any form of criticism as a personal attack on our self-perception might send us into a spiral of self-loathing & distress.
- Taking other’s opinions personally– Others opinion about us matters only when we believe it to be true. Else it’s just their perspective. For instance someone’s view on a political issue doesn’t bother us as much as their view about us. Because in the former we agree to differ and we acknowledge that it is just a view point that is different from ours but in case of the latter, we assume that to be true about ourselves and feel disappointed.
- Rejection from Significant Others– When we face rejection especially from someone whose opinions hold significant importance to us then we internalize those feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness that we feel and it adversely affects our self worth.
HOW TO OVERCOME INFERIORITY COMPLEX
- Identify the root cause – One way to start dealing with the complex is to break it down. Start with characteristics that we feel inferior about. Look at them logically, not emotionally. Are our perceived flaws that bad? If the answer is still yes, remember that everyone has traits they would like to improve. Conversely, what we see as a flaw may not seem like one to someone else. Others might see it as the eccentricities that make us, us.
- Focus on strengths rather than deficiencies– We have a natural tendency to focus on our weaknesses than our strengths. If we build on our strengths & invest time & energy on working on our weaknesses we’ll able to develop our personality in a holistic manner.
- Positive self-talk – The way we talk to ourselves becomes our inner voice. The more negative we think, the more negative we feel. A more positive attitude towards ourselves where instead of criticizing ourselves harshly, we tell ourselves that “I am enough”, “I am capable” and ” I can do it” will help us to build up our confidence.
- Self Acceptance– Nobody is perfect. We need to be more accepting of our weaknesses and imperfections. We need to understand that it’s ok to make mistakes, we are only human. We should take other’s criticisms as constructive feedback and employ them to flourish & grown as an individual.
We may fail at times and succeed at times. Both are learning experiences. It’s our various strengths and imperfections that make us who we are. We are all unique and capable of fulfilling our limitless possibilities.
The most important thing to remember is that nobody can love us until we learn to love ourselves
Nobody can make us feel inferior without our consent – Eleanor Roosevelt