Have you ever felt like you just can’t measure up; like your mind is telling you “just stay where you are, you can’t do it anyway.” Do you know that feeling when you have one great idea and then have ten counter arguments that talk you out of it? Inferiority complex is bigger than we think. Most individuals and associations would describe it as ‘low self-esteem or a feeling of intense insecurity, inferiority or the thought of not measuring up’ but not just that, inferiority complex is a limitation.
Alfred Adler, who founded the school of individual psychology, distinguishes between primary and secondary inferiority complex. The former commonly begins in childhood when he or she experiences weakness, helplessness and dependency and may be worsened by comparison to loved ones, adults or siblings. The secondary inferiority feeling is in relation to the adults’ inability to reach a subconscious, fictional final goal of subjective security and success. The absence of achievement could dig up the initial (primary) inferiority feeling and thus make it a reoccurring one. It has been a norm to relate the feeling of inferiority to interpersonal relations with people, but this is not always the case. The feeling could come as a result of not completing a task, not getting a job, not being married, losing a partner… the list is endless.
The reality is, the act of feeling inferior exists in the mind of the individual. For example; I know a someone who always felt this way but never disclosed it to anyone. We would be at a bar or a lounge and she’d be life of the party, all before more guests arrived. As soon as more people whom she felt were better dressed or looked prettier or richer arrived, she would go quiet and sit in a corner. Initially I assumed she just wanted to be calm and relaxed, but then I noticed how she would stare down each individual she considered to be better than her; which was practically everybody, as they approached her or passed by. When she told me what she had been feeling, I said to her “You know when you see a snake and you assume it’s poisonous and wants to bite your heel? Well it’s just as afraid of you as you are of it“
Every human being has the inferiority complex in one way or the other; people just handle theirs in different ways. For some individuals, it’s as noticeable as a multicolored jacket that you can see from 10 feet away. For others, you need a closer look.
There is a hunger for perfection in every human being, either physically, financially or otherwise. We know it’s unattainable in our hearts, but something gives us hope that it’s possible to get. Therefore, once you see someone (who in your mind) is closer to perfection than you are, you start to feel inferior for your lack.
In my opinion, the constant hunger for perfection makes the feeling of inferiority stronger and a constant in our lives. However, there’s no perfection in humanity. Perfection is not in our design or nature. The phrase: “I am perfect the way I am” is to show that you are already in your own perfect form.
A different type of perfection that is applicable to only you (the individual) and this is where contentment comes in. Satisfaction for who you are not only brings out the best in you, but attracts more of what you want to you.
Remaining in a state of inferiority comes with envy for the possessions of others and stagnancy in your life; because you are so focused on what you do not have and what others do, you may lose sight of what you do have and miss out on how to get to a place of having all that you desire.
Positivity attracts positivity so when you are happy with yourself, you start to attract happy things and situations. You may not have achieved your desired goals in life but it is important to remember you are trying to achieve what YOU want, and not what someone else has.
Photo credit: beyondblackwhite.com
Jennifer ‘Penshy’ Obiuwevbi is a writer/copywriter/content developer. She studied Mass Communication at Babcock University; where she co-hosted a radio show. She loves to write, live life, play dress up and is ‘Adele’ at heart. Follow her at @penshy and http://penshee.blogspot.com to find out more.