One of the biggest internet buzzwords of recent years has been “rant”. A neologism that means “inferiority complex outburst,” it’s used to describe a sudden outburst of illogical anger and irritation in situations where there’s nothing to be angry about. In other words, it’s a way of saying that every human being has at least one unspoken inferiority complex.
Jerome Frank, a famous American psychiatrist, studied the common traits of the mentally ill with his daughter Julia and came to a radical but amusing conclusion. “All mental disorders are caused by the death of chi, and the revitalization of chi is the common factor in all methods of treatment.” The disease of dead chi is inferiority complex. Inferiority complex is a dangerous symptom, as it is said to lie at the root of all mental disorders.
Inferiority complexes shouldn’t be understood as problematic tendencies that only happen to certain people. Inferiority is a natural part of growing up and comparing yourself to others. Inferiority complexes are related to our own internalized complexes, which we all develop at some point in our lives. Most people have some form of inferiority complex. It’s just a matter of degree.
However, some people use it to fuel their success, while others are ruled by it and remain slaves to it for the rest of their lives.
Let’s take an example of the former. Einstein was a poor math student, Edison was kicked out of school, and Elvis Presley was told at his first audition to go back to driving a truck. Seo Tae-ji, who is credited with changing the face of Korean pop music forever, had to swallow hard at his first broadcast audition. All of them overcame their inferiority complexes by believing in themselves, or they used their inferiority complexes to fuel their success and eventually achieved it.
Inferiority complexes are like a fungus that can eat away at you. If left unchecked, it can damage your self-esteem, erode your confidence, and eventually reduce you to nothing. The best way to overcome inferiority complexes is to accept yourself as you are. Try not to compare yourself to others too much.
Self-encouragement, self-praise, and self-compassion are the three keys to ending inferiority complexes.
5 Practices to Overcome Inferiority Complexes
Recognize the inferiority complex right away
Instead of denying your inferiority complex or trying to overcome it, find the source of your inferiority complex and confront it, and look at it objectively to see if the words and thoughts that hurt you in the first place were justified and right. Could it be that you’ve been hanging on to shortcomings that you’ve already overcome and fixed long ago, or that never existed in the first place? The core of your inferiority complex is surprisingly small and insignificant, and you’re stronger than you realize. Your inferiority complex is something you can overcome.
Set clear goals and move forward. Picture yourself succeeding…
If past or present hurts have created feelings of inferiority, you can overcome them with a successful future and a fulfilling present life. Think about what you really want, set clear goals, and work toward them. Effort creates self-esteem. When you feel confident and proud of yourself and your life, there’s no room for inferiority complexes.
Find and praise your positives
If inferiority complexes make you feel small and insignificant, start looking at yourself in the mirror every day and find something good about you and your surroundings and praise it. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant it is, even if no one else notices it.
Whether it’s helping an old lady or feeding a cat on the side of the road, picking up trash or finding someone’s cell phone, your small but sharp nose, your nicer toes, or the fact that you found a cute mug on the internet the other day. As the compliments pile up, you’ll notice a positive shift in the way you see yourself.
Accept yourself as you are instead of the perfect you
We often strive to be perfect as a reaction to inferiority complexes. Even if they do manage to achieve perfection, people with severe inferiority complexes will discount their efforts by saying, “I got lucky” instead of appreciating themselves.
The goal of the “perfect me” is an illusion. It’s a never-ending race against the clock. While you’re running, you’ll never feel satisfied with yourself, and you’ll always feel like you’re not good enough. Instead of trying to reach the perfect you, strive to accept the real you, the honest you, and your life will be much more fulfilling.
Give and serve others
The happiness that comes from serving others and doing good deeds exceeds that of a satisfying shopping spree. Giving back makes your life more valuable, and it can boost your self-esteem by recognizing that you’re helpful to others. Use your power to help others and feel proud of yourself.