Inferiority Complex & Self-Confidence

Inferiority Complex and Self-Confidence

Dr. Zeerak Attari

The average person is not averse to interacting with others because our lives are dependent on such interactions.

Communicating with others and forging healthy relationships is crucial to our mental health and wellbeing. Naturally, when we meet people, we observe their mannerisms, body language, presentation, and behaviour. These observations impact our perception of the person. If we take a liking to them, we will readily seek out opportunities to have their company.

It may surprise the reader, but we formulate similar impressions and opinions about ourselves. This is termed self-perception and self-esteem. We spend a lot of time in our own company with our thoughts. These bear an indelible effect upon our psyche, to the extent that mere thoughts can make us feel alone when present in a gathering of thousands, or allow us to feel as though we are sat in a crowd despite being in solitude.

Thinking lowly of oneself leads to inferiority complexes or low self-esteem. People afflicted with this are unhappy both alone and amongst others. Those who harbour positive outlooks towards themselves are deemed to possess self-confidence, and their thought process is the polar opposite of the former. A self-confident person is predominately cheerful, whether alone or with others.

How do inferiority complexes take root in a person, and how does a person become self-confident? Can a person with low self-esteem ever gain self-confidence? Answering these questions is straightforward, as long as we understand this fundamental idea: consider a child taking their first steps. No matter how many times he may fall or stumble, he never gives up and eventually learns to walk. Falling over does not undo his resolve. This engenders new-found confidence within him, allowing him to tackle more challenges in the future. This is what self-confidence entails in its base form.

Although this example is simplistic, there is an appreciable deal of depth to the lesson it provides. Instilling this lesson into our lives can catalyse major positive changes. The challenge of walking for this child, is similar to the new challenges we face every day. If we strive as this child did, every hurdle we encounter can be overcome and every desirable goal can be achieved.

The more we wholeheartedly try our best, never give up, believe in our skills, and put negative things behind us, the more our chances of achieving success increase drastically. At the same time, we will gain concerted focus on our intended goal. You can experience even more exponential growth with the support and encouragement of your loved ones and by believing in your skills, trusting your judgements, and ignoring negative people or comments. These are the essential ingredients of self-confidence.

Despite his best efforts, if a confident person does not achieve his goal, he will carefully assess his mistakes and plan to avoid them in the future. Take account of successful people across the world; most of them draw lessons from their mistakes and seek to strengthen or remove their respective weaknesses.

In contrast to this, a person with an inferiority complex will panic when facing a challenge. He will be focused on failure or the potential worst outcome, convincing himself that he is bound to fail, no matter what. He also delineates blame for these failures onto others around him, gradually chipping away the very relationships that could help him.

Life is an arena of tests which we have to face with resolve and confidence. Problems can appear in our married life, career, health or relationship with children. Remedying this can only be done when a person rids of himself of his sense of deprivation and tackles these issues with self-confidence. This is the only way to live a fruitful life and be a productive member of society.

Readers who feel this sense of deprivation, who feel divested from what they desired in life, may perhaps read this article and question themselves:  

What did we do wrong? Why are we always the subject of blame? We were treated unfairly from our childhood, which is why we ended up where we are today. If we were encouraged and supported, we would not have faced the criticism we do now. We would have become self-confident, successful people.

Their feelings are valid, and their objections are accurate. The simple manner in which we have discussed inferiority complexes, self-confidence, and this innate sense of deprivation does not reflect the true nature of these complex issues. Also, remember how destiny comes into effect and may override any plan we have set out in life. As much as we try to avoid them, we may be afflicted with illnesses, be they mental or physical.

As Muslims, we must attribute all shortcomings to ourselves. We are then to actively seek ways to treat our weaknesses and plan a path towards success, no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in. It is imperative to break free from the shackles of past failures, which can be done by listing all your past successes, even if few.

Consider where you made mistakes or fell victim to lapses in judgement. Try to see what led to them and work hard to avoid succumbing to the same pitfall. Prepare for whatever challenges you will soon be facing and take advice from experienced people around you. Learn new skills, pray for yourself, and ask others to do the same. Intend to involve yourself in a virtuous task if your intended goal is achieved. One pivotal point to remember, however, is to not be put off by the criticism of others.

For readers who are blessed with self-confidence; rather than praising yourself, you must attribute all your successes to Allah and consider them to be a result of His mercy. You may otherwise fall prey to selfishness, ungratefulness, pride, or arrogance. Truly incrementing in self-confidence should lead you to further degrees of humility.




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