Overcoming low self-esteem

A lot of people struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. For some this happens when facing particular circumstances, while others have an on-going battle of feeling inferior and inadequate. One thing for sure one is not able to enjoy his/her life if they constantly feel inferior. Its difficult to be free to be the person you are and to achieve your dreams. Have you struggled with low self-esteem at any time in your life? If yes how did you overcome it?

The Thesaurus dictionary[i] defines inferiority as sense of personal inferiority arising from conflict between the desire to be noticed and the fear of being humiliated. A complex is defined as a combination of emotions and impulses which have been rejected from awareness, nevertheless still influence a person’s behaviour. According to [ii]Lin Timothy, an inferiority complex is, “An abnormal or pathological state which, due to the tendency of the complex to draw unrelated ideas into itself, leads the individual to depreciate himself, to become unduly sensitive, to be too eager for praise and flattery, and to adopt a derogatory attitude toward others”.


In the psychological descriptions of inferiority complex, it is stated that people thus afflicted are convinced that they are worthless, and that they will fail. The inferiority complex never motivates individuals; instead, it paralyses them: they believe in their self-perceptions (Dewey)[iii]. The inferiority complex is therefore defined as a personality disorder requiring therapy (Dewey / Adler). However, the intensity differs, from feelings of inferiority in certain situations, to the continuous self-belief of being worthless.

[i]  Thesaurus legend. 2003 – 2013. Princeton University, Farlex.


[ii]  Timothy Lin. Inferiority complex. Prevention in children and relief from it in adults. www.bsmi.org


[iii]  Russel Dewey. Psychology: An introduction. Chapter 11, Personality.   www.intopsych.com


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