No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt
Nothing feels worse than the bitter taste of being accused of being a fool in front of people by some megalomaniacs who go out of their way to use their power and position to humiliate, insult and trample upon your ego. We do not retaliate simply because we are helpless in the presence of authority and possibly are too frightened to face the consequences of retaliation. While not retaliating for one’s own good is common sense it is the deep humiliation that rankles us, which is what we need to objectively analyze and get control off.
To begin with we need to understand that the sick feeling we get in the pit of our stomach when insulted and humiliated is because of our primary feeling of being made to feel inferior in front of others. If we see it objectively, there is no reason why we need to feel that way because the faux pas is committed by the other party in attempting to run us down. That in no way means that we are not competent or capable and we should never let that feeling pervade our senses or our psyche. However we are by temperament sensitive and while deep in our hearts we know that have our solid merits, our mind plays tricks and a seed of doubt starts sprouting. For no apparent reason we being to start doubting our abilities, question the motives of those who question our abilities and mentally juggle the humiliation seeking to find proof that we are not what is insinuated.
There are times when we fall into the trap of self depreciation and undermine our own strengths and abilities. When our mindset itself is skewed to doubts and failure, the slightest suggestion that we are in some way not meeting the standards makes feel inferior and worthless. We tend to harp psychologically on the minor mistakes we may have committed and then blow it out of proportion and conclude that we are not capable. Ironically when we have major achievements to our credit, we underplay it as something that is expected of us and so not of special significance. On the other hand if we believed in ourselves we may be subdued in our successes but definitely we would at least seek to clarify mattes if we our credentials or abilities are questioned or challenged.
What is common to the two reactions viz. the feeling of being made to feel inferior and the undermining of our own abilities is that we are responsible for both situations. If we had the self belief in ourselves and the courage of conviction to stand up to showcase our achievements we would never have to ever feel hurt, insulted or humiliated. Obviously then there is no feeling of being inferior to anyone and we actually have the daring to side step any false insinuations with dignity and self confidence. It is when we give our consent to let people get away with false propaganda against us and when we do not take a proactive step to correct wrong impressions that is when we let ourselves feel inferior. The antidote is to think positive, have a winner’s mindset and project our true strengths to the world at large.
Remember: “While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, another is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” Henry C. Link
- Make a list of the 5 most challenging achievements you have managed to date. Outline the key factors that helped you succeed. Was your own self belief a major reason for your success?
- Ask yourself how often other peoples negative comments about your work or contribution have made you feel insecure, hurt and worthless? Were those comments of the others really justified? How could you have responded differently and corrected the false impression they have about you?
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