6 Ways to Overcome Inferiority Complex: Understanding the Causes and How to Overcome It

It was 16 minutes past 7 O’clock. The birds took turns chirping around the mango tree whose branches and brightly coloured green leaves partly arrested a few sun rays. Farida’s eyes bumped into the partly smiling face of the sun through her window pane. It was a daily routine the sun made to offer silent greetings to Farida every morning. Somedays, she loves it. But that day wasn’t one of those lucky days for the sun.

“Not today!” Farida muttered somberly as she drew the curtain back, to return the room to its duskiness.

She couldn’t get over her experience at the meeting, the evening before. It was not her first. Since she was 8, as long as she could remember, Farida easily felt intimated, pressured, less appreciated, and less regarded. She regularly gets herself clouded by self-blame and terrible feelings at every little criticism or rejection. But yesterday’s, was really heavy on her. She felt she wasn’t appreciated enough, so her idea was criticized. She felt less valued.

How to overcome inferiority complex.

Farida woke up feeling down and numb, no thanks to inferiority complex. Inferiority complex is a stench that has spread across different shades of people across the world. It has made people feel less valued, less significant, depressed, and even clogged potentials from being unleashed. 

What is Inferiority Complex?

Inferiority Complex is simply defined as the lack of self-awareness resulting in self-doubt, low self-esteem, destructive criticism, depression, and lack of confidence in oneself. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) inferiority complex is: “A basic feeling of inadequacy and insecurity, deriving from actual or imagined physical or psychological deficiency.” 

The feeling of inferiority complex often arises from different factors including comparing oneself negatively to others, social weakness, etc. In this article, we’ll explore some common causes of inferiority complex.

What are the Causes of Inferiority Complex?

Destructive Comparison

Comparing yourself to other people’s top qualities, seeing them as better, more fortunate, or more successful, then overriding your mind with a sense of worthlessness and amplifying your weaknesses while downplaying your strength often leads to the feeling of inferiority complex. One of the worst places people develop this malady is on social media. This results in constant pressure to measure up to others. Hence, contributing to negative social comparison.


Parental Upbringing

It’s sad that parents who give in their best to see their kids grow up void of any social stigma, ignorantly contribute to causing the development of a psychological malady in their wards. One of the major causes of inferiority complex is the destructive comparison parents make when addressing their children’s flaws. When you compare your children’s weaknesses with other children’s top qualities, they tend to develop a sense of inferiority, and worthlessness. If not curbed, they grow up with such an attitude, developing low self-esteem and limiting their potential.


Social Isolation

Social isolation and feeling left out can lead to feelings of inferiority. When you always feel like you don’t belong or you are not accepted, it can affect your self-esteem and confidence, resulting in inferiority complex.


Physical Impairment

Some people who are physically challenged feel less of themselves because of the impairment they have. This becomes worst if they are often left out and stigmatized my their immediate society.


Negative Self-Talk

The way you talk to yourself can also contribute to inferiority complex. Negative self-talk such as “I’m not good enough,” “I am not fortunate” or “I can’t be better off” can lead to feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem.


6 Ways to Overcome Inferiority Complex

1. Shun Destructive Comparison with Others

It’s essential to stop comparing ourselves to others and start focusing on our own strengths and abilities.  Everyone is unique and has something valuable to offer the world. Instead of comparing yourself to others, celebrate your individuality and focus on your own growth and development.


Here is the truth about social media: most people post their best moments on social media and this doesn’t mean everything is perfect for them and you are unfortunate. The truth is, regardless of how simile a talent or skill you have with those you are comparing yourself with, your journey is different and you can’t get to the top of your craft when you amplify your weaknesses and downplay your strengths.


2. Avoid Social Isolation

To overcome an inferiority complex, it’s essential to connect with others and build a healthy social network. A healthy social network boosts your confidence and self-esteem through healthy conversions, engaging in hobbies, and participating in activities that interest you, helps you feel more connected and accepted.

3. Build a Healthy Network of Friends

It’s necessary and significant to surround yourself with positive, supportive people who encourage and uplift you. Building strong relationships with friends and family can help you feel valued, appreciated, and loved.



4. Seek Help & Talk to Someone You Trust

Talking to a trusted friend or professional can help you work through your feelings of inferiority. A therapist can help you identify negative thought patterns and provide strategies for building self-esteem and confidence. 


As a Christian, you can always seek the help of the Holy Spirit to help you build confidence and improve your self-esteem while you take actionable steps. The story of the young man named Gideon who led the Israelites to defeat the Midianites that held them captive for seven years, often inspires me. Gideon was never bold enough in fact, he went and hid but God who knew the potential Gideon had, sent an angel to talk to him and bring him to the knowledge of the great potential he had. That was how Gideon unclogged the warrior in him, and conquered inferiority complex. See, Judges 6,1-7,25.


5. Avoid Unhealthy/Negative Thinking Styles

Learn to recognize and avoid unhealthy thinking styles such as black-and-white thinking such as; “She is doing well for herself but I am unfortunate,” and unhealthy personalization. This negative thinking contributes to inferiority complex. Hence, replace it with more positive and empowering thoughts.


6. Practice Self-acceptance and Affirmation

Learning to accept and love yourself for who you are is crucial in overcoming an inferiority complex. Practicing positive affirmations, focusing on your strengths, and celebrating your achievements no matter how little they are, always help boost your self-esteem and confidence. Try this affirmation below.



Inferiority complex is debilitating and affects every aspect of a person’s life. By understanding the causes and taking steps to overcome them, you learn to appreciate and accept yourself for who you are. Shunning destructive comparisons, avoiding social isolation, building a healthy network of friends, seeking help, avoiding negative thinking styles, and practicing self-acceptance and affirmation are all vital steps in overcoming inferiority complex. Remember, you are worthy, valued, and no one can take that away from you.

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