If you constantly feel inadequate and insecure, chances are that you have an inferiority complex. In psychology, inferiority complex can be explained by constant feelings of insecurity, need to be validated by others, sensitivity to criticism, or a general feeling of inferiority and low self-worth.
I have written before about how to stop feeling inferior and increase your self-worth. If you have identified that you have an inferiority complex, there are ways I can help you treat inferiority complex and become a person that is more assured, less insecure, and more confident to face daily challenges.
Here is how you can treat inferiority complex
Find the root cause of inferiority complex
Often, an inferiority complex comes from our childhood. Some of our childhood experiences may contribute to some of our feelings and behaviors in our adulthood. For example, a neglected child may develop an inferiority complex feeling that they are not good enough and feel the need to cling to relationships that are not good for them.
By finding the root of our inferiority complex, we learn how we can reparent ourselves and heal our childhood wounds. I have compiled some great books on reparenting to help us nurse and heal our childhood wounds and become better functioning adults.
Stop comparing yourself to others all the time
If you meet people and the first thing you do is to compare if they have achieved more than you have, or if they are better than you, you are more likely to experience an inferiority complex. There will always be people who have achieved more than you have each day.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself- Desiderata
Instead of using comparisons as ways to make you feel less achieved and inferior, you can use comparisons as aspirations. When you feel that others have achieved more than you have, use this to inspire you to achieve more. More importantly, refrain from constantly comparing your achievements to those of others and choose to celebrate yourself and others.
Change your scarcity mentality to abundance mentality
People with a scarcity mindset believe don’t believe that there is enough for everyone. They view life as a competition and that we have to compete for the little available resources. When you have a scarcity mentality, you don’t believe that you can get all the things that you want and somehow resent those who have more than you.
A scarcity mentality and mindset bring about feelings of inferiority. You can get rid of the inferiority complex by changing your mindset to believe that there is enough for everyone and we are not in a competition. There is abundance and enough to go around and you, just like everyone, deserve a portion of it and you can get it.
Stop caring so much about what others think of you
Inferiority complex largely comes from caring what others think of you and feeling the need to seek their approval. Of course, not everyone will approve of you and when you have an inferiority complex, this really does affect you.
When you constantly care about what others think of you, every little comment, or action will affect you and lead to self-hate. You start feeling inferior and that others are judging you. When you learn how to stop caring what others think about you, you will get rid of an inferiority complex.
Have some self-compassion
So you have not achieved all that you would like to achieve, so what? You have done your best and you need to love yourself with all your flaws. Self-compassion comes from knowing that you are not perfect and loving yourself anyway. Understand that no one is perfect and neither should you try to be. By doing so, you are being unfair to yourself.
For others to love you (not that they will always do) you need to learn how to love yourself. Loving yourself makes you become kinder to yourself and this way, you can get rid of your inferiority complex. I read this wonderful book Love yourself as if your life depends on it. Such kind of love for yourself can make you more compassionate towards yourself so you judge yourself less.
Improve your self-worth
Improve your self-worth by working on your self-awareness. When you become self-aware, you learn who you are, the good and the bad, and learn to accept yourself as you are. Self-awareness helps improve your confidence since no one can bring yourself down when you know and understand yourself so well.
Self-awareness helps you change your mindset from one that always looks to others for approval to one that approves of self and does not need others to validate you. Once you are self-aware, your self-worth begins to show. You know who you are, your esteem and value increase and you will not feel inferior in the presence of others because you are not in competition with them.
Develop a growth mindset
When you have an inferiority complex, you have a fixed mindset. This is a mindset that leads you to believe that your abilities are limited and you cannot improve from your current position. A fixed mindset constantly tells you, ‘you are dumb, you are not good looking, you are not smart, you are not worthy, and you are a failure’.
A growth mindset on the other hand helps you learn that abilities, opportunities, and self-worth are not fixed. You open yourself up to more learning opportunities and give yourself a chance and room to improve. See, you will not have an inferiority complex if you believe you can be better than your present state. I love the topic of growth mindset and I have written about it here. You can also check out this wonderful course about calculating a growth mindset.
Work on improving yourself
Personal development is one of the most important ventures you can get into. Personal development is about improving yourself and becoming a better version of yourself every day. When you work on improving yourself, you acknowledge and accept that you are a work in progress and no one should make you feel inferior because of your imperfections.
You can treat inferiority complex by venturing into self-improvement. Through journaling, taking a self-awareness course, setting goals, and achieving them, you work on improving yourself and feel better about yourself every day. The better you feel, the more the inferiority complex diminishes and within time, you are a confident person that does not feel inferior to others.
Therapy is one effective way of treating inferiority complex. Therapy will help you confront the feelings of inferiority, where they come from, and how they influence your behavior. Through therapy, you can challenge unhealthy thought processes and false beliefs that you need to unlearn for a more fulfilling life.
A therapist can help you confront the root of such beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, and together, you can learn how to become more accepting of yourself, more compassionate, and this way, get rid of inferiority complex.
Learn emotional intelligence
We experience an inferiority complex when we listen too much to emotions instead of using facts. When you learn to face facts rather than listen to emotions, you start to become more realistic towards life and less hard on yourself.
By learning emotional intelligence, you learn to take charge of your emotions and not let them control you. For example, you are likely to feel more inferior when you are sad about something. Sometimes, when you confront what is making you sad, you realize it’s mostly founded on your fears and not facts.
Daniel Goleman wrote a wonderful book about Emotional Intelligence that you should check out. You can also take an emotional intelligence course to become more in touch with your emotions and help you through self-improvement.