Website owner: James Miller
Lack of confidence, the inferiority complex. A great many people suffer from them. What causes them? One interesting observation I have made over the years is that the people with all sorts of confidence in themselves are not always the most intelligent. As I have gotten to know, over the years, various people who seemed to abound in confidence I have come to realize that they often lacked seriously in good judgment and good sense, weren't especially knowledgeable, and that they were sometimes very ignorant, foolish people. On the other hand I have known people with PhD degrees in physics who were severely crippled with lack of confidence and inferiority feelings. A person with a PhD degree in Physics cannot be stupid. Just too much of a high intellectual order is required to understand the concepts encountered. So what causes these complexes? I think of a few things: 1. Odd weaknesses and inabilities that a person may have that he becomes increasingly sensitive about. He builds them up in his mind; he makes them into much bigger things than they really are; he worries about them far in excess of what their importance merits. 2. Trying to do hard things; setting hard tasks for oneself; having high standards for oneself; having high expectations for oneself. The person who is abounding in self-confidence is often just a person who has never expected anything of himself, has never attempted to do anything really difficult, and is as a consequence very happy and content with himself. He does easy things, avoids hard things, sees life superficially, and is very content with all that. The person with the inferior feelings is often the person with unreasonably high objectives and standards and expectations for himself; who is always setting for himself very difficult or impossible tasks; who ignores easy tasks and focuses on the difficult; who is always digging beneath the surface of things. This fellow, because of what he habitually focuses on, is always experiencing frustration and anxiety. And because of the impossibly high goals these people set for themselves, the impossibly high standards and expectations they have for themselves, they are never able to just relax, enjoy themselves and be content. They are never able to really like themselves. They never are able to come up to their own expectations of themselves. 3. Focusing so intently on difficult tasks that one has committed himself to that he loses sight of the forest for the trees, that he loses that important mental and emotional balance that tells us what is important is life and what isn't; that sense of just how important one thing is relative to other things (unimportant things take on a lot of importance to you and important things are forgotten and lost sight of). Because he gets so involved and wrapped up in detail he loses sight of the whole and loses his perspective and balance. And then there is another phenomenon that may come into the picture. The person suddenly realizes he has problems and becomes scared. He becomes like a bird caught in a net. He starts struggling frantically to get out and the more he struggles the more ensnared he becomes. He becomes obsessed with himself and his problems. All his time and energy becomes taken up with trying to find his way out of the trap he has found himself in. Fear and imagination take over his mind and he starts imagining all kinds of horrid and tragic scenarios. He sees himself fired from job after job; he sees himself rejected, scorned, laughed at; he sees himself dragged off to mental institutions. As fear and insecurity take over his mind and become more and more obsessional his problems get worse and worse. Dec 1986 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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