How to Overcome a Sense of Inferiority: Gaining a New Perspective


There are many people who dwell on their inferiority feelings. 

Many of these people often suffer from a sense of inferiority for reasons that those around them might wonder, “Why does it matter?” 

Today I would like to talk about how to overcome such a sense of inferiority.  

Now, let’s think about what a sense of inferiority is.  

Simply put, it's the feeling that “I am inferior to others.” 

For example, when you have a sense of inferiority, you may be obsessed with the following thoughts.  

  • “I'm not talented,” “I'm not capable,” “I'm not good-looking,” “I'm ugly,” “People don't like me.” 

  • “ I'm worthless,” “I'm not necessary.” 

  •  “I don't deserve to be admired or loved by others,” “I don't deserve to be happy.” 

As mentioned above, when you have an inferiority complex, you have low self-esteem and a negative sense of value about yourself. 

This will cause you to unnecessarily repeat wrong choices in your life and choose a path that makes yourself unhappy. 

Even though you want to be happy on the surface of your conscious mind, you will unconsciously choose a path toward unhappiness because of your sense of inferiority. 

Of course, not all feelings of inferiority are bad, and there are also people who use them as a springboard to success. 

Some people who are successful in business have an inferiority complex about their education. Others have an inferiority complex because of their rural background or poor family background. 

These people are successful because they use their feelings of inferiority as a springboard and overcome them. 

Thus, a sense of inferiority is not only a negative thing, but it can also be a factor that inspires you if you handle it well. 

Now, let's think about when people have inferiority complexes.  

First of all, it is often created by comparison with others. 

A sense of inferiority comes out strongly when you cannot do something that others can do easily, or when you feel inferior to others. 

For example, when you are exercising in gym class, you may find that others can easily go upside down on the bars, but you can't do it no matter how many times you try. 

Such a feeling of inferiority about motor skills is common. There are many people who have always felt inferior because they are not good at sports. 

There are also some people who sing out of tune and have a strange singing voice. These people may also find music class tiresome and may even hate it. 

As another example, people often feel inferior to others because of their physical characteristics. 

You may feel inferior because you are shorter or even taller than the people around you. 

Whether you are short or tall, you can feel inferior because you are different from those around you. 

You may also feel inferior to other people because you have a shorter nose, narrower eyes, a bigger mouth, a longer chin, or other parts that are different from others. 

As mentioned above, comparisons of physical appearance often lead to feelings of inferiority. 

Second, when you are working towards a goal, you may feel inferior to others who have the same goal. 

For example, in school, you may feel inferior to others who are trying to get into the same school as you, when you feel that you can't catch up with them because they are better at studying than you. 

Another example is that when a girl who wants to be an idol finds out that another girl at an idol interview is prettier than her, she may feel inferior. 

People who want to be active in sports may also feel inferior to those who are more talented than they are. 

As mentioned above, people sometimes feel a strong sense of inferiority towards their competitor. 

As another example, people also can develop a sense of inferiority from the words and attitudes of others. 

A casual comment from a friend, such as “You're a little fat”or “You're short” can stick in your mind so deeply that you can't get rid of it. 

A strong sense of inferiority is instilled in the mind when negative words are frequently spoken by those around you, or when negative values are imposed on you by your parents.  

In such a variety of situations, people have a sense of inferiority or instill it in their minds. 

Even some of the beautiful female celebrities on TV have a complex about their faces and have a strong sense of inferiority. 

Even though they have beautiful looks that others envy, they can't help but feel inferior. 

For example, it is well known that the actress Audrey Hepburn had a strong sense of inferiority about her appearance. 

Audrey Hepburn is famous for her roles in movies such as "Roman Holiday," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and "My Fair Lady," and everyone thinks she is beautiful. 

She had been doing ballet since she was a little girl, and her dream was to become a prima donna. However, Audrey was too tall for the role of prima donna. 

In addition, she assumed that her appearance was unattractive because she was too tall and skinny. 

In those days, it was said that they had to be glamorous to be successful in the film industry, and she felt inferior because she was too thin and slender. 

However, as you know, she became a huge success when she made her film debut. 

In fact, a sense of inferiority is not objective and is greatly influenced by the values the time in which you live and the way people around you think. 

For example, in Japan and the West, fat people are sometimes regarded as ugly. However, in India, the Middle East, and Africa, people who look fat are popular because they are glamorous and attractive. 

In Japan, there was a time when plump women were considered more beautiful, and women with fleshy cheeks and round chin were used to be depicted as beautiful in Japanese old paintings. 

In Japan, too, values change with the times. 

Thus, values vary from country to country and from era to era, and you need to know that different countries and people have different perspectives. 

There are also some people who feel inferior in their studies. 

It is not uncommon that people who are better at studying than average are suffering from inferiority complexes. 

It is often the case that students in the provinces think they are the best and brightest in their schools only to find their grades near the bottom after they enter a high-ranking school in the city. 

There are times when they are faced with the harsh reality that their grades are below average in their new school in the city, even though they used to think they were the best in their local schools. 

In such a case, they can feel a much stronger sense of inferiority than average students do when they get bad grades. 

In the worst case, a few of such students may even commit suicide the day they receive their grades. 

As mentioned above, people who excel in one place sometimes become average or fall behind in another place. 

Even if they finally graduate from college with excellent grades, when they enter the workforce, they will have to start all over again without knowing anything. 

It can happen that a person who excels in school studies can fall behind because he or she cannot do the job well. 

Thus, depending on the environment we belong to, we may feel inferior or superior to others, even though we ourselves remain the same. 

We need to realize that all these feelings of superiority and inferiority are relative and come from comparisons with others. 

People cannot help but see and understand things only from their own standpoint. 

We lose sight of where we are objectively, and feel superior or inferior by comparing ourselves to the person next to us. 

If you live in an area where a lot of rich people live, but you live in an ordinary single-family house, you may feel inferior. 

On the other hand, if you live in an housing complex in an area where not many rich people live, the other residents may envy you just because you are moving to a ordinary single-family house. 

Thus, even if the objective facts are the same, our views change depending on the differences in our surroundings. 

I recommend that you try to think of yourself not from your own perspective, but from the perspective of others such as a person from another country. 

From this perspective, you will see yourself in a much different light. 

If you are a spiritual person, it is good to think from the perspective of your guardian spirit.  

Try to put yourself in the position of your guardian spirit, and reevaluate where you are now and where you need to go.  

By doing so, you will realize that the feeling of inferiority you have been having is not reasonable and that you have been too caught up in it. 

Translated by Kyoko.u.