Confidence is silent; insecurities are loud. A lot of people constantly beat themselves up when they are not doing what others are doing. Many are even dealing with this, yet they do not know it. The idea of “I’m not good enough” is what lies behind every inferiority complex. As a matter of fact, studies suggest that this view of yourself leads to pervasive feelings of unhappiness.
What then is an inferiority complex? It is the persistent affirmation of doubt in yourself. It is when you pay more attention to your weaknesses rather than your strengths. It is when you constantly compare yourself with others in an unfavorable light. It is when you see other people’s wins as a threat. It is when you see yourself as invaluable and unable to accomplish something worthwhile. In simpler terms, an inferiority complex (IC) is also low self-esteem.
There are many different causes of IC. The following are some, but it is by no means the exhaustive list:
- Environment: It is said that when you are in Rome, you must act like a Roman. The location in which you were brought up or that you stayed for a long time has an effect on you mentally. From time to time, you begin to think and act like others, especially when you hang out with people in that environment.
- Societal beliefs: While growing up, we were told to believe that A means success while F means failure. We have been taught to believe that a man must not show weakness and that a woman’s place is no other than the kitchen.
- Bully: Bullying does not only take place in schools. It could be cyber bullying too and it does a great deal in belittling one’s esteem.
- Past mistakes: You may have been scammed, betrayed and abused in the past. And sincerely, these things affect the way you deal with your present relationships home and abroad. People that have had a tough past desire to prevent future failures by not trying again.
For many who are unaware that they may be dealing with IC, here are the signs:
- You always see reasons to compare yourself with others. You always view others as better than you and always think you are nothing compared to other people. When you feel that you are inadequate and constantly amount your failures to these inadequacies, you build a shallow mindset of yourself.
- Sensitivity to criticism: You are very responsive to critics. You easily get hurt or offended when people point out the faults in you and let these critics get to you.
- Imagining negative judgment: Because you already think that you are never good enough, you start to overthink even minute issues and start daydreaming about the negative comments you’ll probably get.
- Negative feeling around social media: Now be conscious of this, the next time you log into any social network and see luxurious houses, your old friends’ happy experiences, how do you feel? Jealousy? Envy? Melancholy?
- You find it difficult to say ‘no’ and even more difficult to assert your needs.
The good news is this – an inferiority complex can be corrected. However, it is not a one-time thing. The solutions of IC can be wrapped up in three keys – Decision, Intention and Consistency. Here’s a list of what to do after you make a decision:
- Explore the origin of your negative beliefs and determine who or what make (it could be situations in the past) you feel inferior to or that makes you insecure. You need to be a hundred and ten percent true to yourself. Nobody knows you better than you do.
- Stop worrying about what others think of you. It is none of your business. Besides, people are more concerned about themselves and ultimately don’t devote ample time to evaluating you negatively.
- It is not attractive to be talking down about yourself all the time. How do you speak to yourself in your own mind? What words do you use, the tone you imagine and the origin of your inner critics? Every morning, look into the mirror and recite positive affirmations such as “I am strong, capable and wonderful”. When you are scared, anxious or nervous, recite it again. By so doing, you begin to build confidence in yourself. Take yourself on dates, travel, sing aloud, dance, exercise and do things you love. You cement subconscious beliefs that you are worthy. Learn to say ‘no’ and not feel guilty about it. If something will make you inconvenient, say ‘no’.
- It is okay to have role models that set you on track and remind you of your dreams. At the same time, avoid trying to be like others because you are likely to lose your individuality.
- Focus on your wins either big or small. This is essential for personal growth. Still strive to be better but reward yourself constantly for your successes. Surround yourself with positive people and positive vibes. If you want to soar like an eagle, do not hang out with chickens.
- Social media is a facade. We live in a world where gratification is the measure of happiness. Although, the internet can be revolutionary and wonderful, it can also be extremely cruel. Social media shows people living the lives they want us to believe they have. We chase the supposed realities of other people, putting our lives on hold and forgetting that even we have ours to enjoy (read that again). Since you have made a decision that you do not ever want to feel low about yourself, consciously follow these instructions until you start doing them unconsciously. Be intentional about these things and be consistent.
All in all, our insufficiency is more than enough to ignite the sparkle within us. Therefore, stop chasing acceptance, stop chasing approval, stop being such a follower, stop over thinking, stop being so insecure. Just BE YOU, DO YOU, FOR YOU.
By: Victoria Oyebande
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