Nothing hinders achievement and accomplishment like feeling inferior and acting without confidence.
Unfortunately, most feelings of inferiority and lack of confidence come from a lifetime of other people telling us that we can’t or that we aren’t good enough.
Where Does Criticism Come From?
The truth is that once you realize that these issues come from tiny little comments made by others, they seem pretty silly, and changing course becomes easy. If overcoming your feelings of inferiority is a process, then step one is figuring out where these feelings come from and understanding why it’s silly to let anyone make you feel a certain way.
This concept stems from two different ideas. First, be sure to separate the event from the subjective way you feel about it. When you say “that person insulted me, and it hurt,” that’s two things. First, that person insulted you. That happened, and there is no way around that. The second, “and it hurt” is up to you. You can choose how events make you feel. Next time someone tries to belittle you, stop and think about how it affects you. The answer is that it doesn’t affect you at all unless you decide to let it.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanore Roosevelt
It’s also important to consider the source of the insult. Face it; most insults don’t come from your best friend, or your significant other (and if they do, you need to re-evaluate those relationships). Insults come from the smug coworker, the cynical friend, or the adult bully.
There’s a common thread between all of these people. They’re all the kinds of people who themselves lack confidence or are sad, or lonely. Being smug, cynical, and mean is simply a defense mechanism. They don’t want people to see their shortcomings, so they highlight the faults of others. This is pretty sad, and you should feel sorry for these people.
How to Be Mentally Strong
Mentally strong people can prevent so much grief and are ready to accomplish so much more because they understand the criticism for what it is: a sad and lonely person’s reflection of themselves. Not only do strong people let insults slide off, but they respond by being kind-hearted and helping to lift the bully up – attempting to not only keep themselves above water but to pull others up with them as well.
Next time someone tries to make you feel inferior, you’re probably going to get upset. But at some point, while you’re processing the insult, you’re going to remember this article. Then, I want you to stop, breathe, and consider what that insult really is.
On one level, the insult is simply a string of words, and words can’t affect you. You can choose not to assign any meaning to those words, and avoid feeling blue all together. On the second level, insults are usually words of sad and hurt people. Ask yourself: what kind of barrier is this person trying to put up by acting in this way? Is he trying to protect his own insecurities and faults? The answer is almost certainly ‘yes’. Real winners and people with real confidence don’t put people down; they pull them up.