Sally walks into a room full of high-flying executives. She scans the room with her eyes and sees the executives dressed in expensive suits, sipping champagne, and mingling amongst each other. As she enters the room, she can’t help but feel “different” to the executives.
She feels the executives are an entire class above her. Maybe it is the executives’ suits while she is just wearing a basic top and skirt that is making her feel “below standard”. Maybe she has this strange difference because she doesn’t know the executives very well and she feels socializing with them is therefore difficult. Or maybe she has what is known as the inferiority complex.
In 1912, a psychologist by the name of Alfred Alder wrote a book titled The Neurotic Character. His research in this book founded a popular area of psychology known as the inferiority complex which is a term used to describe a sense of inferiority an individual feels about oneself towards other people. It revolves around social status, power, ego, and dominance. You will have an inferiority complex when you feel inferior and think that other people are better than you.
Sally in our example is likely to feel inferior if she thinks the executives are better than she is. Her inferiority has nothing to do with not knowing the executives or being different. Dressing differently, not knowing anyone while everyone else knows each other, and having a less prestigious job doesn’t mean she is inferior. Rather, her interpretation of this situation that makes her feel “below standard” creates her inferiority.
An inferiority complex can arise when you experience an imagined or conditioned feeling of inferiority. As is the case for most people, it is a combination of imagination and subtle conditioning. You would feel inferior when an event takes place which makes you feel less than others (conditioning aspect) and your creative imagination (imagination aspect) would “blow out” your understanding of the event beyond what would seem reasonable to another person. The severity of such can cause sufferers to seek help from professionals with counseling degrees.
The conditioning aspect in Sally’s example is her actually being different to the executives. She is not wearing the same clothes as the executives nor is she “a part of the group”. The imagination aspect for Sally is her clothes are below their standards, the executives are better than her, the executives want nothing to do with her because of her difference, plus a lot of other possibilities she is likely to think. Let’s discuss the conditioning and creative imaginary aspects deeper.
I would be completely lying and doing everyone a disfavor if I said, “The inferiority complex is all in the mind. Just stop thinking you’re inferior because you’re not.” If it were so simple, then billions of people would not experience feelings of inferiority sometime in their life. The inferiority complex is society’s psychological black plague, spreading and devouring lives.
My main motivation in writing this article was to provide an accurate source of information to overcome the problem based on what works. The information in this article is a collection of the most useful advice on the inferiority complex I’ve synthesized over the years along with specific lessons I’ve developed myself in overcoming my own inferiority complex; unlike personal development teachers I know of who solely emphasis positiveness in overcoming feelings of inferiority.
I did some brief browsing on the web to see what information was available on the inferiority complex, and most of the advice offered is harmful. “Experts” were telling people “things will get better”, “be more positive”, or “it’s not so bad”. If you have the inferiority complex and someone says similar things to you, then you’ll understand the massive frustration caused from the misunderstanding when someone gives you such poor advice.
Positive thinking can be nicely understood through an analogy in a Bible verse. In Luke chapter 5 (NKJV), Jesus was talking to some Pharisees who were complaining. Jesus replied to them in a parable so that they would be more likely to understand:
“No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.”
The garment and the wineskins examples are what positive thinking does to our self-image. A new patch over the bad garment improves the garment a little bit yet it is still its same old self. If new wine (positive thinking) is poured into old wineskins (your poor self-image of feeling inferior), then nothing good will result. It is a battle of willpower and what is known as creative imagination.
Positive thinking can slightly improve the situation, but in the end it usually results in frustration as our willpower becomes exhausted. Whenever there is a fight between willpower and creative imagination, creative imagination will be the victor. I repeat for emphasis, your creative imagination, which consists of images and feelings, will always conquer your willpower.
From personal experience and coaching others, I know first hand that a better self-image where you do not feel inferior cannot be achieved through positive self-talk, affirmations, and the like. Unfortunately, thousands of people have taught and continue to teach that using positive self-talk will overcome your problems. Positive self-talk is often nothing more than an attempt to live deliriously from reality and ignore what is really taking place.
In chapters 2 and 14 of my Communication Secrets of Making People Like You program, I discuss these issues in depth. We are conditioned by society to believe that being positive during our own problems and when comforting others is a good thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a side note, if you are interested in becoming a strong pillar in someone’s life where you are able to emotionally support people, gain their respect, friendship, and remain stable, composed, and poised without feeling depressed or insane, then I highly recommend you get my program here.
The primary factors of the conditioning aspect that determines whether you become inferior, or rise above the circumstance, is your attitude towards criticism and failure. Don’t forget that there is the creative imagination aspect, which is a more powerful influence towards feeling inferior; yet criticism and failure are the most powerful influences towards the conditioning component.
Criticism and failure will always be banging at your door to success. Unfortunately, most of us let the two burglars get a foot hold within our lives and let them steal what mental goods we possess. Criticism compounds criticism and failure demotivates you resulting in more failure. We will always do things that are inferior to what other people can do. The trick is to stop associating yourself with your actions.
Inferiority arises when doing becomes being. Actions of inferiority, when you associate what you do with yourself, becomes actions of being. For example, getting poor results at school makes you think you’re dumb. You become dumb, and feel inferior, because of your action of getting poor results. A guy who gets poor results at school and doesn’t feel inferior, dissociates himself with the result. He doesn’t let his lack of study and effort over the past weeks make him feel that he is the result he obtained.
You will never be able to eliminate criticism or failure. The conditioning aspect of inferiority will always exist. Therefore, to overcome the inferiority complex you cannot expect yourself to avoid failure, dodge criticism, or have all your humanly characteristics as being better than average. Overcoming the conditioning aspect of the inferiority complex is a matter of learning and moving on while maintaining a goal-focused attitude. Again, you need to learn and move on from criticism and your failures.
I have found that as more people hear and read my newsletter (Earthling Transmission) and articles that I openly provide, the more criticism I receive. I get excited with this and energized because I know the criticism is a sign of achievement (I am sober as I type this ). People will rarely unanimously agree on one thing. We live in conflict.
You and I will always have our critics provided we are not mediocre. Anyone who has achieved anything notable sooner or later receives harsh criticism. Should you desire to no longer be criticized, go find a dark corner where you can hide and be a nobody. Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, said “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
When you feel criticism is a signal of your unworthiness then it begins to stimulate inferiority, shame, and failure. Don’t take criticism personally and think you are a failure. Justly deserved criticism needs to be used as feedback to adjust your course of action as it guides you back on the path of not feeling inferior.
People criticize you in an attempt to improve your life, release their frustration, or because they have their own problems. Feelings of inferiority, like criticism, can be used as a signal to grow and develop yourself. Sometimes you can take the criticism as a sign of you progressing forward in life. I am certain that if I hadn’t experienced feelings of inferiority in areas throughout my life that I wouldn’t have bothered to work on myself and personally grow. No way would I be writing this large, powerful article here today. As a matter of fact, I’m 100% I would not be teaching any communication skills.
Okay, so what factors affect a person’s harsh words? The impact of criticism is determined by the power of the sender, intensity, and frequency. These three factors are not limited to criticism. I’d say just about all positive and negative messages’ impact is determined by these three factors.
If you are passionate about boxing and Muhammad Ali told you how hopeless you are at boxing, then his power will intensify the criticism. In addition, if his criticism was delivered in an intense outburst, then the criticism would have a bigger impact on you feeling inferior as a boxer. Lastly, if he also constantly reminded you how hopeless you are at boxing, this would stimulate further inferiority.
We all have been criticized. Some people suffer while other’s flourish and experience great levels of confidence, success, happiness, and intimate relationships. Why is this and what can you do to overcome your inferiority complex?
Think of a time when the power of the sender, intensity of the criticism, and the frequency you were criticized made you feel inferior. If you can and I suggest you do, make your selected memory one related to your current feelings of inferiority. If you are a shy person then perhaps think of a time when someone told you to stop talking because you have nothing good to say.
Once you have come up with one or several memories, ask yourself these questions:
- What were you thinking when the person made you feel inferior?
- What emotions did you experience?
- What self-talk followed the person’s negative feedback?
- How long did these feelings and thoughts last?
- How intense were these feelings and thoughts?
After answering these questions, if you reacted poorly to the negative feedback given to you in these situations, you should now be more aware of how your feeling of inferiority developed. This is big. If you have the inferiority complex or know someone with it, I hope you’re getting excited about this insight.
The powerful lesson we can learn from this is that people’s criticism and other types of negative feedback has no power over you. It isn’t the events that make you inferior; it is your reaction to the events. It is the thoughts and feelings you experience after the event that determine whether your inferiority grows or dies. The conditioning aspect of inferiority partly manifests through the criticism of others, if we let it, yet our reaction to the event usually determines who we become.
Referring back to the three components (power of sender, intensity, and frequency) which shape us, if you severely beat your emotional self up and frequently do it (for self-talk, I say the power of the sender factor varies depending how strong your self-image is in the specific area you are criticizing yourself over), then the self-criticism will have a bigger impact on your inferiority.
You condition yourself to feel inferior through self-criticism. You become your own worst enemy. Your “self” gets smacked by your thoughts and self-talk. The failures become a part of who you are. You are unable to disassociate events and experiences from your identity and so you begin to verbally bash your mind.
Once you’ve initiated the thoughts, the feelings begin to follow. You begin to feel inferior. You use your creative imagination poorly and begin to evoke images of failure, misery, shame, unworthiness, and low self-esteem. All these negative messages that you’ve come to accept over time mold your self-image and make you feel inferior. You eventually believe that you are in fact inferior.
All animals have their own preprogramming that gives them a set of functions which enables them to survive. I’m amazed at the simple yet effective preprogramming that takes place in birds. When the season changes these amazing creatures can fly thousands of miles straight to a destination they have never been to before. In addition, birds build nests without ever having to attend “Nest Building 101” or taking a course in materials engineering.
Like animals, we are preprogrammed with a set of functions that enable us to survive from threats, allow us to gather food, and procreate. However, we have one huge difference within us. That is, we are goal-driven. Humans have the option to select their goals while animals do not have this ability. Animals are preprogrammed from birth to live a certain life. They survive and procreate. Humans are different. We can create goals and set out to achieve them with our creative imagination.
I honestly feel this to be the greatest part of all personal development. That is a huge statement and I stand by it. My creative imagination is something I get so excited about. It gives me the ability to literally become who I want to be. You will learn later on that your creative imagination is the key to altering your self-image. It is a key determinant in whether you achieve a goal or not like overcoming the inferiority complex.
Before I discuss more about the creative imagination, the creative imagination is not so much about coming up with ideas; though it is a wonderful technique to generate ideas. Your creative imagination gives you the ability to dream goals and visualize them so vividly that your nervous system cannot tell your visualizations are not reality. You can literally trick your entire body into thinking you are experiencing a realistic event when in fact you are just using your creative imagination.
Unfortunately, for many people they waste their creative imagination. It is as if they have a billion dollar check in their wallet and they do not cash it in at the bank. In fact, it is more like they have a billion dollar golden nugget they do not convert to cash and so they are burdened with the impossibility of getting through life by carrying it around. They let this great opportunity go to complete waste. Unless you awaken this inner giant, it will lay dormant, sleepy, lazily, and do nothing in your life. It is your inner giant that can create great happiness, success, and relationships – if you know how to use it.
The first common way your creative imagination is wasted is through aimless daydreaming and fantasizing. This is letting it go to complete waste. Your mind aimlessly wanders off into a fantasy that cannot be created or which you have no desire to experience.
The second common way your creative imagination is wasted is using it to create bad events in your life. This is where the inferiority complex is derived. People unknowingly use their creative imagination to create their inferiority complex. They create scenarios and thoughts of inferiority from their imagination. They imagine rejection, failure, criticism, shame, hatred, scarcity, and loneliness; instead of acceptance, lessons, love, abundance, and togetherness. There is a huge difference here in the parallels of thinking.
It is the images you evoke like failure, unworthiness, and shame that wastefully use your creative imagination to bring further bad events into your life. If you experience fear, anxiety, or worry about what other people think of you, then you are making this common mistake and wasting your creative imagination.
A part of Alfred Alder’s work of the inferiority complex developed the Napoleon complex which is a specific feeling of inferiority about one’s height. Alfred Alder was said to have named the Napoleon complex after the great military leader Napoleon Bonaparte who was driven from his insecurities of being short.
People with a Napoleon complex “make up” for their inferiority through aggressive behaviors. They have a superficial layer of toughness. On the outside they overcompensate for their insecurity. In terms of height, they feel handicapped because of their smaller stature and attempt to “make-up” for this perceived problem through aggressive behavior. A smaller stature is not necessarily a true handicap as it just a perceived handicap where the individual uses one’s creative imagination to feel inferior.
Diagnosing this type of inferiority within you lies in having overcompensating behavior because of perceived inferiority. You would have the Napoleon complex and demonstrate overcompensating behavior when you aim to put-down others who are taller than you. You would have that little extra desire to do better than those who are taller than you. You would try and make taller people look bad. The worst possible symptom of this feeling of inferiority is physically hurting taller people because of their stature. This specific Napoleon complex is derived from one’s personal feeling of inferiority and fear that taller people are better than you.
I know the Napoleon complex is a common and more general term used outside of physical height where the individual overcompensates for a perceived handicap. Most of us do have a tendency to be controlling and aggressive beyond the many possibilities of height differences. All of us have our own and often strange reasons for feeling inferior that we dare not share with anyone else.
A common example where overcompensating behaviors take place are when someone feels threatened by an attractive person. A woman would have the Napoleon complex when she feels threatened purely from an attractive lady’s looks. Because women are very competitive in the dating world, if they feel inferior to a more attractive lady they will overcompensate for this by criticizing, teasing, and displaying other insecure behaviors relating to the attractive lady’s looks.
The shallow woman tries to be better than other women. She may also try to make herself feel better by putting-down other women who are less attractive than she is or who lack other qualities that she has. This is all the bitchy behavior where women try not to feel inferior because they are less attractive than the “superior” lady. If you have a need to “pull” other people down, then you are suffering from inferiority.
Both women and men who subtly communicate these insecurities instantly become less attractive. I find it very annoying, depressing, and irritating to have someone next to me whose feeling of inferiority is temporarily made better by criticizing another person.
So let me ask you this. What is your attitude towards people who are better than you in certain areas of your life? How do you feel towards people who are more attractive than you? How do you feel towards people who are your superiors at work? Do you feel inferior to them? Do you feel they are better than you? Do you need to “pull” them down from their podium by criticizing? Or do you become inspired, excited, and thrilled to see their successes?
I hope you have very deeply thought about and answered each one of those questions. If you rushed through the questions, go back and take your time to think and relive relevant experiences. Think deeply about it!
I often see unsuccessful, unhappy, and miserable people criticizing others who are more happy and successful. It is disgusting to see this happen. The criticizers are no better or inferior than those they are criticizing. A young person achieves a goal at a much younger age than a miserable older person who criticizes how “bad”, “wrong”, and “mistaken” the young achiever is. It is absolutely disgusting to see someone attempt to pull another person down because of personal insecurities.
A great test to see how secure and confident a person is can be conducted by complimenting a person who is more successful than your “test subject” in an area you feel they may act inferior. For example, if I wanted to see how confident a lady is about her looks, I could compliment a more attractive lady on how her hair brings out her positive features. If the lady is insecure, she would likely find something wrong with the lady and follow up my comments with something like “… but look at her shoes. Ugh. She’s got no fashion sense.” Not an attractive quality to have at all.
The cultural cringe is an interesting area of the inferiority complex where people feel inferior due to their culture. It could be because of genetic appearance, pronunciation of words, or other areas of the human body that vary between cultures. I believe this to be common in middle eastern countries where terrorist activities have hurt how other countries perceive these cultures. These middle easterners are likely to experience the cultural cringe because they feel inferior due to someone like their own – Osama Bin Laden – being associated with their culture.
A few days ago I came across a lady who was experiencing the cultural cringe about her physical form. She was saying how much she wished she could look like an Asian lady. She complained about the features of her body being different and unusual. She hated her self-image and loved how others in Asian cultures looked. Her idea that other cultures are better than hers made her feel inferior.
These feelings of inferiority hurt you by damaging how you communicate with yourself and others. You will hate certain people, cultures, situations, and events because of the cultural cringe. Your subconscious will be so poisoned with imaginary beliefs that are powerful enough to destroy your happiness, relationships, and overall success in life.
The superiority complex is a feeling of superiority over other people. Back to the scenario where Sally is in a room full of successful executives, if Sally had a superiority complex or attempted to feel superior, then she would criticize the executives to “pull-down” their status in an effort to make herself feel better. Another form of the superiority complex is demonstrated when Sally could try to “lift” her status by portraying how better she is than the executives. Both of these poor techniques in “overcoming” the inferiority complex attempt to lift her status but fail to do so. Let me explain.
A common technique people use to “overcome” their inferiority complex is to make themselves feel superior. I frequently thought this was the solution to overcoming feelings of inferiority and still, ashamedly, catch myself trying to feel superior. I think you will never completely remove thoughts of inferiority. You just need to develop a positive self image and keep a negative self-image that tries to enter your life at bay. It would be humanly impossible otherwise.
People attempt and fail to overcome feelings of inferiority by becoming superior. They “overcome” inferior feelings by making themselves feel better than other people. Many people do not understand that this solution is a temporary patch on a large wound. It takes most people an experience of significance superiority (such as achieving a desired goal you felt inferior about like earning a million dollars or being popular with the opposite sex) to realize that they still feel inferior.
Let’s face it, I think we have all fallen into the same trap. We think that to overcome our feeling of inferiority we must feel superior. This ultimately only leads to more frustration and inferiority. I can guarantee you this. If you must feel superior than you are still comparing yourself to the false measuring stick you used to judge yourself when you were inferior.
Once you perceive yourself to be superior, you will be constantly searching for validation from other people to prove to yourself that you are still superior. You will likely be a person who thrives off attention and perhaps are someone who is needy. If you are put out of place by being ignored and made to feel less superior, you will attempt to grab back your “non-existent podium” of superiority by criticizing others and using behaviors to lift your own status.
If a person’s need to compete against another is driven from the person’s insecurity to feel superior, does a superiority complex actually exist? I think it does exist but an inferiority complex can be used to explain someone with a superiority complex.
You are You
A secret to overcoming the inferiority complex is accepting you are who you are. I’m certain you would have heard people say to “Just be yourself”. I think that is awful advice. If you continue to be yourself then you will continue to have poor habits, thoughts, feelings, and results.
Being yourself is completely different than accepting that you are unique. A guy who knows he is unique is still able to grow as a person and “not be himself”. He will continue to always be unique no matter what he does.
So hopefully now you accept you are a unique individual but I am willing to bet that you do not believe it. I’m guessing you consciously accept your uniqueness but you are still comparing yourself to the false measuring stick that causes inferiority. By measuring yourself against these mystical standards, you are likely to not be accepting of your uniqueness.
Next time you feel inferior, I want you to challenge those thoughts and find out why exactly you feel inferior. Having done so, acknowledge that the people you are measuring yourself against are not the true measuring stick. You are you. What you need to do is compare yourself with who you were.
If you are shy in conversations then don’t compare yourself to the extrovert, blabbermouth, social butterfly who won’t shut the heck up. Compare your present shyness to your shyness one month ago. Derive satisfaction from knowing that you are becoming a better person. No one will have experienced the same situations, people, events, thoughts, and feelings that erected your feelings of inferiority. There are so many variables that make you unique: family, friends, co-workers, upbringing, and the list goes on. It is foolish to compare yourself to others.
Know that you don’t need to arrive at your goal to enjoy yourself. You can enjoy the journey in knowing that you are making progression and becoming more confident. In doing so, you are able to accept your uniqueness.
About 90% of people have the inferiority complex so our perceived standard is a joke! You should be able to see how silly we are to compare ourselves against these false measurements. You are not inferior or superior to anyone – nor is anyone inferior or superior to you. We all are ourselves. You are you and our friend Sally is Sally. Remaining different and not complying to “standards” (which 90% of the population don’t fit in. Ha! ) is a part of the secret in overcoming the inferiority complex.
To overcome your inferiority complex you need to change your self-image. The self-image is how you perceive yourself. It is a mental picture of who you are. It does not have to be truth as we’ve seen in the inferiority complex where you are not necessarily inferior. The self-image is the image of yourself that you hold in your mind.
The great Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-cybernetics, was a plastic surgeon in the mid 1900s. He operated on many individuals who felt inferior due to their “unusual” looks. Most of the individuals did not at all look unusual as it was their self-image that blew their little differences out of proportion. They had used their creative imagination to create a dangerously false understanding of what they looked like.
The doctor had operated on many people who despite after the plastic surgery, still felt a feeling of inferiority. They would come back to him requesting more surgery seeking to look exactly like famous individuals. He would again operate on them and still only to have the individuals dissatisfied with their appearance.
For some of his patients, this was not the case. Some individuals’ feeling of inferiority would disappear after plastic surgery while others had their emotional scars cured without ever having to undergo surgery. This made Dr. Maxwell Maltz very curious. He wondered why people who had their “outer scars” healed like facial deformities still had “inner scars” like feelings of inferiority. From his research emerged modern self-help psychology. He is the founder of visualization, creative imagination, self-talk, and changing the self-image.
Unfortunately, anorexics have a really distorted self-image. Their obsessive compulsion to lose weight cannot be logically understood. They can be on the brink of death from starvation and still perceive themselves to be fat. Those who have never directly experienced such a situation will often fail to understand how this can be true. It is a very hard disease to grasp your mind around if you have not directly experienced such a horrific situation.
A teenage girl with anorexia will have concrete beliefs, thought processes, and emotional states that she uses on a day-to-day basis which potentially could have developed all the way back to her toddler years. Each hurtful word, thought, and experience over a person’s lifetime accumulates to formulating a poor self-image. Think again before you call a child, or even an adult, hurtful words that are unhealthy for a good self-image. You are creating other people’s self-image on a daily basis.
Your self-image has enormous powers. It controls exactly what you can and cannot do. If you see yourself as inferior to others because of a false belief, then this self-image will ensure that you remain inferior. No amount of positive thinking, willpower, determination, or other techniques will cure your feeling of inferiority if your self-image is inferior. Just like your self-image determines if you feel inferior, so I believe that for any goal you set out to achieve, your self-image must also be congruent with your desired future. Your self-image controls what you can achieve.
Dr. Maxwell Maltz in The New Psycho-cybernetics, a book from which I received several foundational ideas for this article, profoundly explained the power of our self-image:
“The self-image controls what you can and cannot accomplish, what is difficult or easy for you, even how others respond to you just as certainly and scientifically as a thermostat controls the temperature in your home. Specifically, all your actions, feelings, behavior, even your abilities, are always consistent with this self-image. Note the word: always. In short, you will “act like” the sort of person you conceive yourself to be.”
A person who is 250 pounds can drop to 210 pounds through willpower. The person can lose weight with determination. However, if the weight-loss took place out of sheer determination, then the person will return to their true self-image weight of 250 pounds. If you see yourself as fat but you are determined to lose weight then it is likely you will lose weight. Your determination will drop those pounds. However, if your self-image has not adjusted to your new weight then you can be guaranteed your old weight will return.
The room temperature can fluctuate a few degrees depending on who enters and leaves the room yet the thermostat will always return the room to its set temperature. This is why people who do not adjust their self-image are able to lose weight yet it fluctuates and eventually returns to their self-image.
The same rule holds true for becoming more muscular. If your self-image is a thin-body, then you are going to have an extremely tough time packing on muscle. Arnold Schwarzenegger at 15 was thin. What set him apart from other body-builders in the gym was his self-image. He would visualize his new muscular body each time he performed a rep at the gym while other body-builders would fantasize over bikini models. In 1980, Arnold claimed his seventh Mr. Olympia title and become the icon of bodybuilders.
A person aiming to lose weight through willpower is using forward goal-setting. This fails. If you use forward goal setting where you set a goal to achieve and work towards it, you set yourself up for failure. As I’ve repeatedly said, positive willpower cannot overcome a negative creative imagination. Your creative imagination will always win.
Apply this to other areas of your life. Stop trying to use willpower to overcome your inferiority complex or to achieve some other goal. It cannot be done for permanent results. What you need to do for all your goals is use backward goal-setting where you set a goal to achieve and begin doing the things now that you would be doing upon achieving that goal.
To do this you need to awaken your creative imagination by immersing yourself in an imaginary environment where you have already achieved your goal. Your primary aim is to visualize yourself immersed in an environment so real that it feels like you have already achieved it. I will run through a complete exercise that you can apply right now to overcome your inferiority complex.
It is this technique that you are going to primarily rely on to overcome feelings of inferiority. When the technique is used over time, on a frequent basis, your inferiority complex will evaporate.
I’m going to run you through an intense visualization. The nervous system cannot tell a real event from a fake event. Studies continue to show over and over again that when we visualize the body experiences physiological responses which mimic action. The mirror neurons in the premotor cortex of the brain become activated when visualizing in the same manner as taking action. Mirror neurons hold an important component in social understanding, empathy, developmental language, and learning new skills.
This isn’t the exercise, but imagine you are in a real fight. Hear the yelling, swearing, and abuse. Feel the air. Taste the blood. Seeing the people gathered around. Look at your angry opponent. By immersing yourself in the environment your physiology will appropriately respond. Your body will release doses of adrenaline as your heart rate increases along with heightened awareness. The more real your visualization is, the more your body responds as if it were a real experience.
To demonstrate the exercise I encourage you to use on a daily basis, I’ll walk you through what I would do in Sally’s situation.
I firstly slow down my breathing. I notice whatever tensions there are in my body and make a conscious decision to relax that part of the body. Now, I visualize myself walking confidently into the room full of executives. Shoulders are back, posture is erect, neck is straight, my strides are slow, and I hold my eye contact if others look at me. I smell the champagne and hear the chatter and occasional loud laugh. I see the gray colored walls and people’s black shoes.
I feel the wrinkles around my mouth as I smile when greeting an executive. I sense other’s feel my firm handshake. People are warming up to me as I’m communicating complete comfort with myself. I love myself and have no need to compare myself against other’s standards. I’m proud in knowing that I’m becoming a better person. I’m a unique individual. I am poised and have zero feeling of inferiority.
That is a brief example of what I would feel and see in my mind’s eye. I’d encourage you to go into more depth and create more details. Thorough details are extremely important. Make it so vivid that it becomes real. Use all your five senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing.
To overcome your inferiority complex, start visualizing what it would feel like to not worry what other people think of you. Imagine yourself in the exact same environment. Smell the air and touch the surfaces that are around a non-inferior you.
Run through these visualizations everyday. By constantly running these visualizations, you begin to create a new self-image that is aligned with the visualizations. Your creative imagination overpowers whatever willpower you have.
You should also use the positive thinking I earlier “bashed.” Positive thinking is of course a valuable tool when using in conjunction with your creative imagination. Combine these two great tools together and you will soon overcome your inferiority complex. After all, your inferiority complex developed by using these same tools in a negative fashion.
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