Dealing With Your Inferiority Complex

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.

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 to find out more.

34 Comments on Dealing With Your Inferiority Complex
  • Amdi December 5, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Wow absolutely this is the best article I have read on this website. I can beat my chest and say it is one of the best I have read on any blog. Jennifer ‘Penshy’ Obiuwevbi I have taken note of this name. You have no idea how wonderful this article is. A lot of lessons to learn from it. Absolutely brilliant.

  • X factor December 5, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Good talk…thanks a million

  • olah December 5, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Nice write up

  • Roy December 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Jenifer dis post waz jst ryt on tym…more greace 2 ur elbows.

  • oluchy December 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Thank you, Jenny for the lesson. Wonderful writeup.

  • chiomsky December 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

    i concor to this article, such a wonderful one

  • kiks December 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Inspiring…… for though!

  • kiks December 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Inspiring…… for thought!

  • OLA December 5, 2012 at 10:46 am


  • ruth December 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

    dis writeup is awesome.inferiority complex is all in ur head,u jst need 2 tell d image u c in d mirror every morning dt u r a unique being,one of a kind&wonderfully made.

  • hmmm December 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm


  • giggy December 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    thanks Jenny.. Bless you

  • TOBIIIII December 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    wow….this ministered to my soul

  • NNEKA December 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    wonderful article. You have no idea how much i have learnt from it. Thanks a billion.

  • Purpleicious Babe December 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    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.

    Agrees with this line of statement….

    Although, I don’t think everyone seeks perfection as mentioned, I do think some people are content at every stage encountered. I think perfection is flawed anyway.

    The article makes serious sense.

  • OMG!!! December 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I just forwarded this link to my sis-in-law who is living with this disease,hope it works for her.
    Nice write-up! I’m sure of one soul it could save

    • lala December 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      lol@ disease
      youre mean!!!

    • Let them say December 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      Don’t you think your sister in-law might take that personal? Well , just my opinion – that might be an insult on a sister in-law’s person.

  • Jigga December 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Good write up, and Iam happy that this issue is being addressed!!

  • Damie December 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    This is really nice.

  • maxy December 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Wonderful piece. i learnt a lot.

  • RIP Enebeli December 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    True talk,but society may not want to think in thesame direction,hence the problem..easier said than done.Even parent are not left out…it part human race,hence we have to take it as it comes

  • Yes! December 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Nice one! That is it Girl once you are HAPPY with yourself you attract Positivity, happy thing and happy situations opening the flood gates for all things Happy! Regardless if you feel someone is better than you or you have not achieved your desired placed in life simply being happy can put all those inferior complex issues at bay and for good!

  • Bambino December 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    That’s me write there….need help

  • R December 6, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Good piece.
    IC is a complex ailment and manifests in different forms I think, even more forms than you’ve identified.
    It also isn’t easily “cured”, just my 2 cents..

  • gooby December 7, 2012 at 8:07 am

    dat feeling wen d priest is ministering in church nd it seems like he knws u nd all ur probs.. A very huge THANK U to the writer 4 blessing me with this article. What a great nd +ve way 2 begin my day

  • Gyann December 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    You aint doing with your choice of edifying words. Nice piece. glad I came across it.

  • Gyann December 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    You aint doing bad with your choice of edifying words I meant to say.

  • feyola December 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    very nice piece

  • nazzy January 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

    nicest one

  • mary anne hebert February 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Thanks Jennifer. This is helpful as I start my journey to healing from my own “false” feeling of inferiority.

  • Pravin Nigam March 27, 2013 at 5:58 am

    thank you. A great info for me relieving.

  • Naomi ayara December 18, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Thanks Jenifer for the great lesson.

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