Fighting Inferiority Complex
You’re doing great! I can sense that. Except for the 60% of you who are currently going through a moment of self-doubt. And congratulations to the other 30% who have gone through this bumpy road in the past and succeeded (you can help others by suggesting and giving out some advice in the comment section.) Bottom line is that a good number of us encounter this feeling of inferiority and self-doubt at some point in our life. And that’s fine, it’s a normal thing. I thought it was easy-peasy to deal with until I met someone by the river bank. She had finished crying and was ready to jump into the slimy jaws of a crocodile. I smiled. The hero, ready to go for the rescue. Long story short, they had to send an emergency team to rescue both of us. Here’s the full story.
Meaning of Inferiority Complex
Unchecked, an inferiority complex may lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. And suicidal thoughts, what Mimi had in her mind for weeks before I saw her at the river bank. In psychology, an inferiority complex is an intense feeling of inadequacy, often resulting in the belief that one is in some way deficient, or inferior, to others. Someone who has an inferiority complex feels that they are of less worth or importance than other people. And the simplest definition, inferiority complex is the lack of self-confidence.
Why it exists
Often, people around us induce this feeling through their comments and actions; some, even with no intention of causing any harm. Let’s take a portion from one definition above. “… resulting in the belief that one is in some way deficient…” This precisely is the reason people have always had this feeling of lack of self-confidence, even long before Alfred Adler explicated and called it inferiority complex. We really are deficient in varying areas of our life. Nobody is complete, or perfect. There are gaps. But nature gave us a task (and all it takes) to be self-confident, regardless.
A baby is born without teeth, has to crawl to move, and well, has little or no knowledge of anything. At this level, every child is equal in terms of deficiencies. The problem sets in when some children grow faster than others. This spurs that feeling of inferiority complex; looking at another person’s progress level. The good news is that the problem also has the solution embedded in it.
The solution to Inferiority Complex
Of course, self-confidence is the solution to an inferiority complex. But self-confidence doesn’t fall from the sky. People go miles to gain self-confidence, but congratulations, you’d be gaining it by just reading a one-thousand-word blog post. You wish it were that simple, right? Yea, me too. The ONE AND ONLY way to gain self-confidence is to truly know ourselves. Self-discovery. It’s a journey inward, away from all the noise of people’s comments and opinions about who we are to find out who we truly are. Until you have properly done this, you might not defeat the monster; inferiority complex.
Knowing yourself entails knowing that you are deficient in some way, or many ways, like me. It’s not just about beaming at your strengths, but acceptance of your flaws and failures. What else can you do but accept them? Okay, Mimi and Didi (I’m great at coming up with names right) have been friends from childhood. At eight years, Didi grew pimples on her chest that would later turn to a big boil at Ten. At Ten, Mimi kept wishing that two of the pimples on her nose would move to her chest, but it never did, until about fifteen when Didi’s… okay you get the point. This was one reason I found Mimi at the river bank that day. Now pause, breathe, think. Is there anything Mimi could do about the situation?
We’re deficient, but not empty. Know this and know self-confidence. We have blemishes, yes, but we have potential areas of strength as well. Self-discovery involves two things: identifying weak spots and identifying strong spots. After identifying weak spots, further identify those weak spots that you can work on and those you can do nothing about. Simple, accept those deficiencies that can’t be worked on. Enough of the Mimi fiction, people actually go through a lot of negative emotions because of a lack of self-confidence and that is why this article is a bit longer than usual. I was in a gathering in school and a friend was being applauded for drawing a beautiful portrait of one of our lecturers. I was green on the occasions and felt inferior. (Israel, you’re the one) But that wasn’t the end.
I reflected and accepted the fact that I couldn’t draw as well as Israel. I wasn’t born to be an artist, but maybe I could write stuff that would be as beautiful as Israel’s drawings. And well. So that’s it, let go of those things that aren’t meant or destined for you (your weak spots) and embrace those areas that you rock in!
Oops, did I say self-discovery was the one and only thing? I lied. There is just one more thing. Visiting thesensei.com.ng regularly. Actually, thesensei.com.ng may not give you all the information you need. Seek further, in other blogs, YouTube, and books. I especially recommend The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. Hopefully, it’ll help you as much as it helped me. Finally, read about or follow those who have similar strong spots with you and have excelled.
I think I lied again. We have this two-way feeling when we encounter people who show that the impossible is possible. First, we are thrilled and spellbound at their achievement and second, we feel miserable because all we do is purchase data subscriptions and that doesn’t really count for much. The last solution to self-confidence is adding the ‘er’ to hard. Or stick to just hard. Put in the work! Everyone you see on screens basking in their wins spent hours working and preparing. Work hard to improve at what you’re good at. These strengths in us are planted like seeds, nurture them so that they grow into a very big tree. That’s just it. Unless you are able to develop your talents, knowing and accepting your flaws may not make you feel any better. The balance is created when your strengths are expressed instead of your flaws. Be so busy thinking about and working on your endowments that you forget you have loopholes too. It’s a process that will flow naturally once you put in the work.
Permit me to lie one more time. Okay, it’s enough, I won’t. Sorry, but if you fail to do these things mentioned above, you’ll find yourself lying over and over again; lying to yourself. And the repercussions won’t be as mild as lying repeatedly on a blog post to drive your point home. Because whenever you stand in front of a mirror, (the mirror could be people’s comments) the truth of yourself will laugh at all your lies and push you to sadness, depression, and our nemesis inferiority complex. Once, you go through all the solutions provided, the long-term effect is a change in the way you see yourself, and that will in turn change the way you carry yourself. You will emit scenic rays of self-confidence. Try it, it works like magic!