Can you think about the last time you felt really nervous about something important to you? Maybe you needed to speak publicly in front of a room full of people, run a big meeting at the office, or interview for a job with other applicants you feel are much more qualified than you. Whatever it may be, there are countless situations throughout life that will make you feel as small as an ant.
It’s normal to feel inferior from time to time. It’s a struggle that many face. However, there are many people around you who encourage you to stay strong, focused, and positive, and to stand firmly behind what you believe in. If you can hold on to those things, you’re more likely to be successful.
Superiority could be your downfall
It’s true, for the most part, that we’ve all been conditioned to believe that having feelings of inferiority is bad, but I think just the opposite. Many of us have a strong sense of superiority, and that can cause many problems. The root of the problem begins with someone thinking, “I’m superior to others.” It endorses a defective model of being that’s “self as an object.”
The thing is, only objects can be assessed and compared. That is essentially what the mind is doing when it comes up with the notions of superiority and inferiority – it forms fixed ideas about “I am a certain way,” and about how others are. A human cannot be compared; it’s one of those “does not apply” operations, just like dividing by zero.
Continued feelings of superiority can become roadblocks when it comes to furthering progress and reaching a higher level of success. It’s like walking through life with blinders on, unable to see what is going on around you. Having this mindset can really stand in the way of self-improvement.
Inferiority can be a tool for growth
I get it though; feeling inferior just turns a day into another painful experience. We feel inferior when we engage in comparison. It comes from an ego-based perspective where we find ourselves or others lacking in some way. Quite honestly, this doesn’t benefit anyone involved. You can lose motivation and the desire to become more successful. It can even cause you to become unnecessarily hostile.
One must realize that it isn’t so much the comparison that is unhelpful, but rather how you approach it. The act of comparing isn’t the problem, it’s the meaning you attach to what you find when comparing.
When you feel that envy is on the horizon, you know how uncomfortable you’re going to feel. Here is where you have to make a decision: You can either beat yourself up over the space between where you are currently and where they are, or you can ask yourself, “What can I learn from this person to get myself closer to where I want to be?” These options are based on ego gratification and validation, the other is based on self-compassion with the strong desire to live the best life you can. Of course, making a decision like this isn’t easy to do when you’re in the moment, but it is very possible.
When you feel inferior and “not enough,” try and look at it as a chance for growth. If you’re comparing yourself to someone you aspire to be like, take the opportunity to reach out and ask them for advice and/or tips on how they’ve reached their level of success.
Embrace the rocky road you travel
It’s hard for anyone to see the positives when it comes to feeling inferior, but they are there. It isn’t abnormal to feel envious of those who are more successful than you. It happens, and it’s okay to feel that way.
What isn’t okay is to let yourself fall into a rut that is really hard to get out of. Today, people want all the benefits that come with success without having to do the hard work that comes along with it. A lot of people feel they deserve things handed to them on a silver platter. That’s where the superiority comes into play. It can make one very ignorant.
You can be confident while still remaining unsure of yourself. You can feel satisfied with your level of success and still have the desire to reach higher ground. You can feel both superior and inferior when you have a healthy combination. It’s important to feel that you are doing a great job, but are still aspiring to be more to reach your fullest potential.
The choice is yours.