Personal Development

Ask The Coach 10 – Overcoming Inferiority Complex

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This is the  tenth session of Ask The Coach. The main aim of this weekly session is to ask you, the reader, to ask a question to the coach by posting a comment on this post and each week myself and Ayo Olaniyan will attempt to help you by answering your question.

Question from  Srinath answered by Ayo.

**Please note this is an edited version of the question**

How do you stay away from worries and feeling inferior, when you look at people who have got some of those things you long to have. Also, what are the steps required to focus on our goals and achieve them.

Hello Srinath

inferiority_complexThanks for your question on "˜Ask The Coach.

There are two issues raised in your question. They are a) inferiority complex and b) focusing on your goals.

I will dwell a bit more on inferiority complex because you mentioned it twice in the original version of the question and conclude the post with a few tips on how to stay focused/motivated on your goals.

From personal experience, I've discovered once you deal with issues revolving around your inferiority complex, you can manage your goals, dreams and aspirations properly. There are also times you become motivated to achieve realistic and reasonable goals as a result of certain issues giving rise to the complex.

Alfred Adler (Individual Psychology) described inferiority complex as a feeling of low self worth. It's often stems from your imaginations and is associated with insecurity, discouragement, low self esteem and sometimes envy.

The causes are as follows:

  • Feelings of Rejection
  • Your Physical Appearance
  • Your shortcomings.
  • Mental Limitations
  • Parental Attitude/Your upbringing
  • Unnecessary Comparisons with the achievements of others
  • Lack of proficiency.
  • Self Pity.
  • Poor Self Confidence/Self Esteem.
  • Failure
  • Social disadvantages and discrimination.

The list is endless, but it would be helpful to sit down for a moment, think deeply of circumstances, events and people that unconsciously bring about your feelings of inferiority complex.

Once you've done that, the next step is to look at possible ways of overcoming inferiority complex.

Here are a few suggestions:

Be Yourself

This is fast becoming my favourite slogan. Everyone is unique in his/her own way. You are born, brought up, conditioned differently. You need to increase the level of your self awareness, look out for your unique qualities, discover who you are, what you are passionate about, your skill sets, strengths, tolerance levels etc.

Celebrate Your Strengths/Achievements

Celebrate your achievements. It's not easy getting to the point where you are. You've been strong, faithful, hardworking,"¦"¦"¦"¦(find more examples) to get to this stage in life. Go on enjoy each precious moment.

From research, people with inferiority complex tend to pay little or no attention to their success, achievements or strengths. They also find it slightly difficult to accept worthy praises for a job well done or any form of accomplishments because the focus is on what other people are doing(achieving) and finding reasons or questioning themselves for not attaining a particular level of success.(Please note: This is different from being inspired by the success of others).

Stop Making Unnecessary Negative Assumptions

Stop imagining people are going to laugh at or mock you for being you. Even if they do so, be proud and raise your head high up because THEY JUST DON'T GET IT. Stop assuming things will always take the turn for the worse, when it comes to you.

Develop the habit of positive affirmations and grow a healthy mind.

Develop Yourself

Be informed or updated about various events, things"¦"¦.. happening around you. Don't stop learning. Take time to develop your aptitude. Go on a self improvement exercise. If you need increase your level of education, do so!!!


Face Your Fears

Learn to confront your fears and take calculated risks responsibly.

Network with friends/family/colleagues"¦

Networking/Collaborating with other people may help in achieving your desired goal. Positive networks help to establish, motivate and strengthen you as an individual. Associate with people who are ready to encourage you when you need it, speak the truth, drag you away when erring and finally provide support for you all the way.


Build Your Self Confidence

Developing confidence in whom and what you are, is essential in overcoming inferiority complex.

Don't get upset at constructive criticism

Learn to accept constructive criticism and feedback positively. It forms a learning curve, aids your self improvement and chances are you could be driven to success in various fields.

Manage Your Failures.

Learn to accept that failure is a phase everyone must go through. See them as golden  opportunities to rewrite the scripts of success.


Become Focused And Take Action

This is where I answer the second part of your question ·

I mentioned earlier; inferiority complex could serve as a tool for creating realistic/reasonable goals.

In working towards your goal you need to become focused and take action.

Here are a few tips:

  • It's very important your goal is realistic and achievable within a certain time frames.
  • Curb your distractions.
  • Have a plan
  • Think carefully.
  • Learn to be accountable and act responsibly.
  • Avoid procrastinating
  • Be determined.
  • Show consistency in what you do.
  • Manage your time properly


I look forward to your feedback, comments and suggestions.

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About the author

Ayo Olaniyan