How to Avoid Developing an Inferiority Complex

Psychologist, Alfred Adler has described an inferiority complex as a neurosis. Such an individual is completely consumed in focusing on their perceived inferiority. This neurosis is magnified compared to the normal feelings of daily insecurities. According to Adler, “the perception of one’s shortcomings is an important aspect of this complex.” Basically, how one perceives his or herself is more important than where they actually are on the normal scale. Perception is your reality. (Source: This article discusses several steps that can assist you in dealing with and avoiding an inferiority complex all together.

# 1 Create Your Invisible Barrier

We’ve all heard that it’s not good to put up walls to keep people out. This step is a little bit different than that thought process. You need to create your invisible barrier which will aid in protecting your emotional well-being. Think of the analogy of water running off the back of a duck. It cannot penetrate through to the feathers. You must cultivate that same strength in your own belief system and perceptions which will defend you against both inside and outside “attacks.” Your self-doubt can be detrimental to your perspective on life. Learn to love yourself and who you are as a person so that you can fight off that doubt. Remember that people will have their own opinions, but you can filter them and disregard any negativity toward you. Cultivate this invisible barrier by learning calming breathing techniques. Remain neutral in negative situations and work at keeping yourself calm.

# 2 Filter Through the Negativity

There will always be negative people around you. However, if you learn how to filter through the negativity and create beauty from the chaos, you will be successful in keeping your invisible barrier in place. The majority of “intimidators” usually have a plan of attack and an agenda behind it. Don’t give these negative influencers power over your life. Focus on maintaining your positive perspective and disregarding their insults and power trips. Knowledge is power. If you can remember that you are a good person and have value in this world, those factors can help you ignore other peoples’ negativity. You may experience some criticism based upon these factors which you cannot change—disabilities, skin color, race or ethnicity. These are characteristics upon which you don’t have any control. Verbal abuse regarding your genetic makeup can cause emotional scarring and low self-esteem issues. Strengthen your own belief system and values. Don’t fall prey to ruthless insults against your uniqueness.

# 3 Accept Positive Constructive Criticism

There will come a time when we all need to accept constructive criticism. None of us are perfect and if we want to succeed in life and grow as a person, self-improvement is imperative. Learn how to build upon your weaknesses and grow in your strengths. As you see yourself grow in your personal development, this will indirectly aid in helping you to become a more established individual. While you are growing and changing, you will also be able to more easily defend against negative and draining comments from those who wish to intimidate you.

# 4 Surround Yourself with a Support System

You need to let certain people inside your invisible barrier. These people should be known encouragers and people who will consistently support you in your endeavor toward personal growth. Find a mentor whom you feel confident in. This person should be able to offer you reliable advice and provide you with the educational resources and tools you’ll need for further personal development. As you grow and become more confident in your own abilities to succeed, you will not need as much support from this group of people.

# 5 Avoid Developing Bitterness and Anger

Feeding negative emotions can suck the energy from your life. If you don’t starve the negativity from growing in your life, it will be difficult for the positive emotions to flourish. Life is sometimes hard and there may be circumstances you’re dealing with which may seem to justify negative emotions like anger and bitterness. However, do not dwell in those places. Harness those negative emotions and focus them as positive energy to enact change in your life and circumstances. When your thoughts start heading in the wrong direction, refocus them and think about your goals and moving forward.

Remember that perception is your reality. Create an invisible barrier around your life to protect yourself from outside negative influences. Filter through the negativity and insults others project at your life. Find a mentor and others who can be part of your emotional support group. Learn to accept constructive criticism and avoid developing bitterness and anger. Avoiding developing an inferiority complex takes work, but it is possible with self-discipline.


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