Feelings of Inferiority

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    Inferiority haunts me day in and day out. No matter what I do, I am never good enough. I try to ignore the voice that tells me I’m not as good as everyone else, but it is much bigger than me.
    I deal with feeling inferior to almost everyone. Even to children sometimes too (I know that is absolutely crazy). I cannot help but feel as if everyone is better than I am. I know I am a smart, beautiful young lady, but as soon as someone else comes in the picture, all that goes away and I feel worthless. I try different things to remind myself of my worth and it never helps or works. I guess it all comes from me being insecure about almost everything about myself. I feel as if I am going crazy constantly battling myself. I want to believe that I am just as good as anyone else, but I seem to not be able to do it. All I seek is security, and confidence that I seem to never be able to find. What am I going to do? What should I do? Is there anyway to stop this negative self talk? Will I ever get better?



    I’m sorry for your suffering and negative self talk, and know how difficult it can be when it seems we are at odds with our mind. Sometimes when we get stuck making comparisons between ourselves and others, the mind naturally responds in such a way. Don’t despair dear sister, because not only is there an end to the self talk, but you are far more beautiful than you realize. This isn’t a platitude, its a piece you’re overlooking that came to heart as soon as I read your words.

    Consider that perhaps what is happening is that you’re seeing everyone’s beauty. Men, women, children… as they come into your view, you see how magical and radiant they are. Because of the low self image you have, it turns into this inferiority feeling. That’s OK, that is something we can address. However, it is actually a jewel you have in your heart and mind, dear sister, to see goodness and beauty in those around you.

    The knot which transforms that beauty into inferiority is the ignorance of the subjective nature of beauty. Said differently, there is no “thing” out there that represents perfect and true beauty. For instance, if you can feel inferior to blonds, brunettes and redheads, obviously not one shade and hue of hair is “right”. If you can feel inferior to a man, a woman and a child, then no age or gender coild be “right”. Perhaps when you see a person, notice how beautiful they are, notice how different they are from you, the differences between yourself and them feels like it decreases your status. Said differently, perhaps you are open to their beauty, appreciate their sparkliness, and instead of compassion you feel envy. This naturally erodes as you make more space in your heart to simply let their beauty be something you can appreciate without the comparison.

    The real magic is how it happens inside you with almost everyone. I know from your side of the maze, that it may seem disorienting… because now everyone sparks the icky feeling. But it also means you’re seeing their beauty. That can’t be stressed enough, because many of our brothers and sisters spend their time judging and disparaging our family. It took me years to find and grow what you have naturally!

    For this inferiority feeling, let’s dig a little deeper. Consider that each one of us has a unique path to find, a harmony of genetic and environmental factors to understand and grow within. This inherently means that each one of us, from the size, shape and color of our bodies to the social and scientific information in our brains, exists as a blank canvas for our will to work with. Each of these factors can become a source of appreciative joy, as we let the conditions around and within us become the brushes we use to shift and sway with the world around us. Said differently, the reason what you have is such a jewel is because as you settle your envy/inferiority, when you look out at the people around you, the perceptions which have been fueling that icky feeling will become wonder, curiosity and joy. Consider that if you were well fueled, such as having a positive self image, this beauty you see in others will be magnificent for you.

    From another angle, consider envisioning a beautiful sunrise. The crispness of the air, the way light and color streak across the sky, the gentle buzz of life awakening from its slumber. How beautiful! Now imagine an actress you envy. Her graceful flowing hair, round curves, social activism, penetrating eyes, radiant smile. How beautiful! But, they are also completely different… yet both can produce and connect to the sense of beauty inside us. The same happens for me when I add you to the exercise. My dear sister, with her open eyes seeing beauty all around her, seeking a path of inner peace and stability, growing day by day. How beautiful! Do you see? The beauty is in us! Its in our openness and appreciation of the qualities and conditions we’re seeing, not in the hair or the sun or the growth or the boobs or the abs or whatever. Like a sunrise, each of us is similar, completely different in the manifesting conditions, and beautiful to anyone who stops and lets us in.

    For me, resting in this view, in this understanding, removes all envy and let’s my beauty and the beauty that surrounds me flow deep into my heart. Then its actually kind of funny… I hope others see my beauty for their sake… much like I hope they stop to take in a sunrise now and then, because what magic this world can be when we open to it!

    With warmth,


    Hi and Matt what you wrote is beautiful and obviously I need to read it again and embrace it but I totally understand where Marie is coming from as I too have a constant battle with inferiority. Although I am privilidged as maybe it is not so severe. I read the article on this site about comparing yourself which hit alot of notes and almost made me cry but gave me a positive way forward. But I do think it is very much in Western culture that we are made to feel inferior by the constant barrage of perfect women images and perfect families. Having recently spent time abroad in a Muslim country I have felt far more confident as having to cover your body more actually makes me feel more of a person valued for my knowledge, wisdom and personality rather than my slim legs or made up face and glam hair. A strange thing maybe to say Marie but we really do pull each other down in this country and also we are loathe to compliment as for example I see a beautiful lady just like you and instead of saying “Wow you look fantastic”-my thoughts instead go to jealousy and that insecurity voice says “She looks so much better than you”. I know too I am a smart intelligent beautiful business woman so I wish I too could flick that demon off my shoulder. But whilst in the Muslim country the women kept holding me and saying how beautiful I was and there was no jealousy and likewise I started to say the same.
    I am on a journey to really try and deal with this insecurity as it holds you back in your business and has many times in my personal relationships with panics and anxieties that I am not good enough for that particular person therefore I have sent them packing prior to allowing them to finish the relationship – simply pushed them away. It is crazy. I blame past relationships but I have to deal with it now and I believe I can do this a step at a time and if we women start to support each other more and understand the pressures upon us we will be so much more confident and happier. I worry about young girls who are going through even more pressure. If you have a young girl switch off the TV more and throw away beauty magazines – they are not allowed in my house. Also for yourself do not buy magazines with diet, look better or how to have the perfect life – they are rubbish and meaningless. Far more important is your soul and spirit and your input into the world. Think about what attracts you to someone and they it makes you realise. I am interested to hear other opinions .



    Well spoken and well said! The only concern is that when we simply switch our perception of beauty from external to internal (such as wisdom instead of hair) then we’re only playing a comparison shell game. What happens when we meet someone that seems wiser or smarter? To drop the game, we can switch from status oriented beauty to uniquness oriented beauty… seeing that each expression of internal and external qualities are a true and unique set of conditions. We can let them arise without judgment… just seeing them for what is really there.

    Then comparisons become silly, as if the wonder of a sunset can compare to the wonder of a Buddha or a movie star or a mother. Each moment, person or experience is just too different and unique for comparisons to make any sense. Said differently, when we are in a mental maze, we can drop the maze instead of looking for an exit. We drop the comparison, rather than looking for a thing that makes us a beauty. Then, as compassion blossoms, the conditions for perceptions of “ugly” simply dont arise. How could they?

    I agree that an unfortunate byproduct of our envy is we either like ourselves less, or wish misfortune onto others. Namaste, sis.

    With warmth,


    Thank you both! Matt, I never looked at the situation in that point of view. I am definitely going to try this and apply it more often.
    & Racheal, yes, I believe every word. In this society everything is a competition. It starts very young and only gets worse as we age. Thank you both for understanding and the great advice. I guess the beauty really starts in me first.


    Matt, thanks for your beautiful insight. I have read few of your pieces in this forum for advice and your simplified wisdom just amazes me. Where did your personal growth come from ? Have you written any articles on this site that I can read ? Thanks and you are a blessing for all of us who are still getting there to your level of simplicity and inner happiness.



    Thank you for the kind words. My wisdom has grown like the rest of ours, through failures, successes and great teachers helping me. It even seems wierd calling it my wisdom, because its more like breathing in a preyer and breathing out whatever comes to heart… and im little more than a link, helping what is already inside all of us grow (at least that’s the intention).

    I haven’t written any articles for tinybuddha, I just bounce around the net looking for places to share whatever light shines through me. I’m much more comfortable in the trenches than at a podium, plus, I’ve never been asked. 🙂 I wish you well on your journey, sis, may you find what your heart seeks!

    With warmth,


    Dear Matt,

    I would like to give you an honorary peace award for your dedication towards helping me and so many Tiny Buddha community members find their way through this forum.

    I could never thank you enough for all the support and words of wisdom you have given me. I have copied and pasted your responses so that I can have them as a reference – weeks, months and years from now. They are like receiving a reassurance from the universe that everything’s going to be okay. A comforting hand on my shoulder. 🙂

    A deep bow of gratitude towards you, Matt! THANK YOU!


    I think it might help to remember that everybody has insecurities, you’re not at all special for having doubts or making comparisons, meaning in this and a lot of other ways everybody is the same. So everybody is relatable.

    You could also possibly think of it this way; a person comes along and says “these shoes are big enough for me” and then another person comes along and says “these shoes are too small for me”, in the same way some people think “this person is beautiful” while other people just don’t see it that way.

    It’s not possible to be the “one person that fits all”.

    Another point is that if you always compare yourself to other people that means you are constantly suspicious, this may even be towards people that think fondly of you! But you are not giving the connection a chance to form. It’s very difficult to be true friends with people when you think you are beneath them, even when they don’t think that way about you at all.

    And finally is praise what you are after? Because praise is nice but if you think back to your accomplishments, or things you felt good doing, you felt good because you succeeded, or because it was fun, interesting, exciting etc… If you think back you never needed anyone to tell you “well done”, those words are nice, but at the time that you were busy with something you liked doing, it didn’t matter at all what anybody thought.

    When you finished your school work, or your drawing, or you did something nice for somebody, or you ran an extra kilometre, just by doing those things you felt good about yourself, that’s where “security” and “confidence” really comes from. From you, not from anybody else.


    This is a beautiful reply. I really feel as though it has dislodged something in me. Thank you so much.


    Dear Louis:

    It is wonderful that a December 2013 reply- more than 9 years ago- can help you today! You are welcome to post here again, or to start your own thread, if you would like (go to FORUMS at the top of the page, select ALL FORUMS, choose a Category, and take it from there).



    Thank you Anita 😃

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