Self-esteem is very important for the development of people, at all stages. This begins to be established from the early stages of development and is consolidated in adulthood, in which the subject with a good self-esteem will be able to face the various adversities that arise.
However, it is relatively common for people to have problems in this area. “I feel inferior to others” is a frequent thought , a consequence of something having gone wrong during the establishment of self-esteem. In any case, with the fact that we have noticed it, we have already taken the first step towards achieving a healthier self-concept. Below we will see what to do in this case, and some of its possible causes.
Why do I feel inferior to the rest?
As we’ve seen before, if I feel inferior to others, it’s because the process of establishing self-esteem has been compromised at some point. There are several ways this could have happened, so let’s look at the most common ones.
1. Pessimistic attitude
The pessimistic attitude is like a vine that grows longer and stronger as time goes by and no adaptive ways of coping with this dysfunctionality of thought are sought.
These kinds of attitudes are passed on from one person to another. If we have grown up in a pessimistic environment, it is likely that as we get older we will tend to adopt this mentality . But it is never too late to break this negative circle.
2. Exaggerated behavior
When we exaggerate the negative situations in our life, we are preparing the ground for us to feel overwhelmed by situations we could really manage . Thinking that all the bad things happen to us, or that we always come out of any event disadvantaged, puts us in a condition of emotional handicap.
We must avoid this situation at all costs; it is important to understand that things that happen to us will not always be unpleasant. Bad things are temporary, and better times will always come to the extent that we are able to change our exaggerated thinking.
3. Constant comparisons
People who spend too much time comparing themselves with other people often have a higher degree of insecurity in themselves , and therefore feel that they are in the shadow of others. It is common that the result they draw from the comparisons is that the others are better than they are.
Comparing oneself with other people can be useful to learn and take certain positive aspects from others, but we should not do it in an obsessive way; everyone is different and has unique abilities.
Envy is a harmful feeling for any person, since it favours the emergence of anguish.
You must protect yourself from the possibility of jealousy. Focus on yourself and the virtues you have, use them to build a bridge to your goals , without the achievements of others clouding your view of your own abilities. Be the one who influences your surroundings, and don’t let what happens around you affect you in a decisive way.
5. The need for approval
When we invest a lot of resources in trying to please others, we are inevitably forgetting ourselves in the process .
This situation will result in us never feeling satisfied with what we do, bearing in mind that you cannot always be able to please everyone. The ideal is to maintain your essence, always with education before others, but never with excessive praise.
How to overcome the feeling of inferiority?
In the next few lines we will review some ways to overcome the feeling that we are inferior to others .
1. Become aware that no one is perfect
The first step is to become aware that no one is absolutely good at everything , and that just as you have things you can improve on, so does everyone else. It is only a personal task for each of us to take charge of being the best version of ourselves.
2. Interprets failure as an opportunity
Changing our perception of our failures brings us closer to a greater understanding of our capabilities . Instead of getting depressed about having failed at something, evaluate why you failed and learn from the mistakes you made. See failures as valuable opportunities to learn and get to know yourself better.
3. Find your virtues
In case you are still not clear what your virtues are, you should take the time to look for them and find them. It is completely impossible that there are no virtues in you. Focus on discovering what you enjoy doing and what you are good at.
4. Avoid irrational persistence
This point is about being able to accept that we are not always going to be the best at the things we like. To avoid feeling frustration about this fact, start by doing things without the irrational need to be the best at them , and do them because you enjoy the process.
5. Don’t hate your faults
Keep in mind that each one of our defects make us different from the others, therefore they are an important part of us , with which we must learn to live the rest of our lives in an adaptive way.
The ideal is to recognize and accept our limitations without them taking away our sleep, always trying to improve our weaknesses, but understanding that we are not less than any other person for not being so good at something.
6. Balances strengths and weaknesses
This balance means that instead of spending all your resources on trying to improve your defects, you are also able to get to work on continuing to improve on the things you are easily given . In other words, focus more on your potential and not so much on your defects.
- Greenberg, J. (2008). “Understanding the vital human quest for self-esteem. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 3 (1): 48–55.