7 Signs of Inferiority Complex
Learn to recognise signs of inferiority complex. An inferiority complex is a state whereby you persistently believe and feel that you are not able to measure up to others. It is a sign of low self-esteem. The thought behind an inferiority complex is “I am not good enough”.
“The greater the feeling of inferiority that has been experienced, the more powerful is the urge to conquest and the more violent the emotional agitation.” – Alfred Adler
At least 95% of people have at one point or another encounter thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. However, you are said to have an inferiority complex should you constantly compare yourself with others. You see yourself as being in second place or falling short. Consequently, you feel poorly about yourself.
Most of us are not always so confident about ourselves. In fact, I will consider having a level of uncertainty as “normal”. We can then be motivated to make a change or improve on the areas that we are weaker in. However, the call to make a change should really be something that goes on internally. This is opposed to zealous attempts to win due to the fear of losing out.
There could also be situations whereby we feel that we lack practice, are not as well prepared or not as academically smart as someone else. Our self-doubt does not qualify as an inferiority complex unless we have deep-rooted beliefs about not being good or worthy enough. Where we are driven by our subconscious fears, we can undertake actions or behavior that undermine our wellness.
Despite having zapped many of my limiting beliefs, I still encounter situations, whereby I feel inadequate or not quite up to par. On reflection, I understand that the impetus to compare is an instinct for survival. And it is the ego that has this impetus.
The ego thrives only when it is superior. It needs to compensate with superiority from feelings of inferiority. We get to hear its pesky voice in our head, “not good enough”. In fact, I hear the same voice whenever I am working on writing a new book. When it strikes, I will invariably start to hyperventilate from thoughts of not being good enough as compared to more established authors.
I recall a time when I would also drive my husband crazy with my neurotic behavior; swinging from a hopeful “I am convinced that I have got something to share with this book” to a gloomy “I am just not good enough to write it”. My mind would go on an overdrive. I would be taunted by fears of public rejection, shame and humiliation. Of course, these fears were mostly psychological.
If I were not aware enough, I would have allowed these pangs of insecurity to prevent me from putting out books or any work. I acknowledge that if the same situation were to happen 10 years ago, I believe that I would not be able to write a word for any book at all. I would have been paralyzed into inaction, due to having a serious case of inferiority complex back then.
Signs of Inferiority Complex
What is key is awareness. We shine light into our shadows to dissipate the dark. What is important is to bring awareness on what constitutes as signs of inferiority complex or inadequacy.
1. Heightened Sensitivity to Other People’s Opinions. Are you highly sensitive to what others think and say about you? Do you immediately feel small whenever there is a critical comment about you? Don’t feel confident about yourself?
You often take it to heart what others say. You crumble at the slightest remark about yourself. The alarm bells inside your head go ringing, “You are not good enough”.
2. Social Withdrawal. You dislike being in a crowd because you cannot get rid of the sneaking suspicion that you are not as good as others. You would rather not have others find out the truth about how lousy or insecure you are. You hate any forms of comparison, which could be inevitable if you belong to some kind of a group. You prefer to be left on your own.
3. Fault Finding. You have a trained eye in picking up the faults or imperfections about others. Since you do not already feel good about yourself, you may as well cause others to feel poorly too. Thus, no one in your mind can be superior. In other words, you need to make others feel small so that you can look bigger.
4. Place Own Needs Last. Having an inferiority complex can cause you to put your own needs last. You try to brush them aside. However, you are really wallowing in feelings of unworthiness. Over a long time, you start to accumulate anger.
5. Crave For Flattery. Compliments make you glow with pride. However, when you have an inferiority complex, you are dependent on flattery. You go all out to be nice to everyone, so that you can receive validation. Validation makes you feel good about yourself. Your ego gets hugely inflated.
6. Performance Anxiety. You just hate competition. You don’t like to lose. Losing makes you feel like a failure. You find it hard to get over being second place. Every time you need to perform, you sweat profusely.
7. Procrastination. You cannot seem to get motivated. There is a reason why you are not able to get off the couch. The root belief is that no matter how much you try, you are never going to be good enough. And so you are feeling very unmotivated to get going.
Inferiority Complex: A Case of Perception
Mostly, inferiority complex arises from your perception; rather than what is actually the case. You draw conclusions based on your evaluation of experiences. Very often enough, these evaluations are not facts and likely to be distorted.
Self-doubt plagues you when you have an inferiority complex. Misery sets in. You are likely to undertake compensating behavior so that you can psychologically make up for the difference. Taken to the extreme, an inferiority complex can drive anyone to depression, isolation and suicide.
Fortunately, it is possible to overcome signs of inferiority complex sufficiently to experience greater freedom, happiness and peace. We begin by becoming aware of the belief that is behind our emotional disruptions and outward behavior. We let go of the thought of “not being good enough” to knowing ourselves as being enough.
Love and Abundance Always,
Life Coach. Energy Healing Practitioner.
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If you are needing personal coaching or healing services to deal with your inferiority complex, please consider working with me. I have helped others overcome their self-esteem challenges.
On the other hand, if you prefer to work on your issues on your own, consider the following program….