Tips on Overcoming Inferiority Complex

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Introduction to Inferiority Complex

Do you constantly compare yourself to others? Do you often feel you are not good enough? Do you always try to please everyone before thinking of yourself? Here is the truth, you might actually be Inferiority Complex positive

Inferiority Complex is a psychological problem, to begin with. It is a feeling that is common to every individual, which is associated with a lack of self-esteem, doubt about oneself, and a feeling of incompetence. This feeling develops from comparing oneself with others and perceiving oneself as not being up to parity with others on a certain scale. At some point in time, you may have felt inferior to a friend, a colleague, or even a sibling. This feeling is often momentary; we recuperate from such feelings, and it motivates us to be better. However, some people develop a major inferiority complex, which requires therapy to overcome the feeling.

Definition of Inferiority Complex

The term inferiority is etymologically derived from its Latin root word inferus, meaning lower. According to Webster dictionary, an inferiority complex is an acute sense of personal inferiority often resulting either in timidity or through overcompensation in exaggerated aggressiveness. An Inferiority complex is a pathological state of being overwhelmed by a real or imaginary inadequacy, causing an individual to be less confident and being overly critical of themselves.

Types of Inferiority Complex

According to Adlerian Psychology (as theorized by the French Psychologist, Alfred Adler), there are two types of inferiority complex: primary and secondary inferiority. Primary inferiority occurs in childhood and the feeling continues into adulthood. Inferiority complex developed as a child is often caused by parental neglect, overly critical parents, bullying, inadequate emotional support, and poor academic performance. Secondary inferiority begins in adulthood and results from the inability to achieve goals or accomplish things you set out to do, or the feeling of being manipulated by your family, partner, or colleagues in the office.

Causes of an Inferiority Complex

Inferiority complexes may come from experiences of your past. It may be a childhood experience, a traumatic event, or some other reasons. Discrimination against you based on your family, race, sex, socio-economic status, religion, educational level, and sexual orientation may as well instigate an inferiority complex. In some cases, defects in appearance such as weight issues, visual defects, speech defects may trigger feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem and this leads to an inferiority complex.

Symptoms of an Inferiority Complex

In most cases, symptoms of an inferiority complex differ in individuals. If you have observed at least four of the few listed symptoms in you, then you sure do have an inferiority complex.

  • You may feel uncomfortable being around others because of an imagined belief that others would find out that you do not fit into the group.
  • You often have trouble making new friends or maintaining the ones you have, because you feel you are not good.
  • You always need other people’s validation in whatever you do – this could stem from your childhood if you did not receive praise from your parents.
  • You need to be flattered and are dependent on such flattery for you to feel better about yourself.
  • You are never able to accept that failure may have occurred due to a mistake on your part hence; you do not take responsibility for your failures and mistakes, therefore, blaming them on others.
  • You tend to find faults and pointing out the wrong things about others to make them feel inadequate or incompetent too.
  • You cannot help but keep comparing yourself to others.
  • You are never ready to attempt something new simply because of the fear of failure or the fear of being laughed at or criticized.
  • You behave in any way possible to get attention or cheer from others.
  • You often neglect your needs and emotions to be liked by others.
  • You are very sensitive to criticism and compliments – you either flinch or shy away from the smallest bit of advice because it keeps you low and desperate.

RELATED: Your Flesh or Spirit: Which is greater?

Overcoming an Inferiority Complex

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt.

Nothing holds truer than the ‘easier said than done’ saying when it comes to overcoming inferiority complex. For someone to overcome this psychological condition is no easy task. However, there are steps you can take to overcome an inferiority complex. This is called the ABCD method of overcoming an inferiority complex.

  • Accept yourself and believe you are unique. Try to find the cause of your inferiority. You should learn to focus on your positive attributes. Learn to build your self-confidence. Stop wanting to be like others.
  • Be positive. Reading good books on positive thinking or being with people who are positive daily can slowly bring about a difference. You can get inspired by people, look up to them but you should never forget that you are entirely different from them.
  • Cut off from toxic relationships even if it means they are your family members or friends.
  • Determine whom you feel inferior to and learn to surmount those feelings. Most importantly, learn to say no especially when it comes to pleasing others.

In a more severe case, you may have to undergo therapy to overcome an inferiority complex.

Dealing with Inferiority complex quote

Top 5 Bible verses for overcoming Inferiority Complex

You can overcome the feeling of being inferior to another by studying these verses of the scriptures.

  1. Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
  2. 2 Corinthians 11:5 “Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.”
  3. Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
  4. Exodus 4:11-12 (NIV) “The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
  5. Job 12:3 “But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these?”

For extensive study on overcoming Inferiority Complex as a Christian; check out these helpful links:


It is completely normal to feel inferior to others in a certain way occasionally. Inferiority complex is caused by many stressors and its symptoms most times are not obvious, but there are ways to overcome this silent killer, which is unknown to many. Inferiority complex is inhibition of creativity and one’s self-actualization. It hinders you from exploring your creativity and unleashing the God-given potentials in you. Knowing your inferiority complexes, its causes, and symptoms can guarantee your overcoming your inferiority complex. Importantly, you should note that everyone feels inferior so you are not alone. Remember, YOU ARE YOU and that is a fact. It is only when you can overcome your inferiority complex can you live your true life fully.

May God be your guide, Beloved.

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