Identifying the Roots of Feelings of Inadequacy
Points to Ponder: June 27, 2018
Yesterday I was chatting away with a young school girl. As our conversation grew more intimate, she told me about how she feels inadequate most of the time. She related her complexes to me. She told me how she sometimes feels her dressing sense is not up to the mark and at other times how she feels her hair is not done in the best possible manner or how she is not the best in her studies. And also narrated to me how she would usually make desperate attempts to be up to the mark and at other times just feel exceedingly inadequate and would suffer from a deep inferiority complex. Although this came from a young girl, don’t we all, across age groups and despite the different contexts in which we operate, feel inadequate very often? We all do and that is alright. But what we do about it next is what matters. It is usually seen that if I feel inadequate I try to fix things on the external, like think of reducing my weight or buying good clothes or get the hair done or buy get a beauty treatment, or getting a god job or other accomplishments etc. And despite sometimes getting all of it done, we are only able to keep this feeling of inadequacy at bay only for a short while, only until the next bout of criticism or comparison comes up. So then this fixing becomes a regular feature of our lives and it takes quite a constant effort to continually keep myself upto the mark.
But let us think about whether this feeling of inadequacy really stems from not being proper on the external. Now, had it been so, then people who have “made it in life”, who are rich famous and beautiful, should never come across this feeling. But today we see that many people, even at the pinnacle of success, not just experience these feeling fleetingly but also sometimes encounter long phases of depression and anxiety. So this proves that what is outside is not the trouble. The trouble is what is inside. Let us take an example. Suppose someone stumbles while walking, cannot lift heavy objects, cannot concentrate at work, feels tired all the time. Can we solve his problem by giving him a stick to walk around, and giving other assistance in other areas? No, it is clear that the root is lack of physical strength. We may try to fix one aspect and something else will still remain unattended. So, instead of watering the leaves, we better water the root and take care to restore physical strength. Similarly, feelings of hurt, insult, fear, insecurity, inadequacy, all have their roots in lack of spiritual strength. We will discuss more on this tomorrow.