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What is a Student’s Inferiority Complex?

Recently I got the chance to research on this topic and was surprised to find the results, how our education system is affecting students’ psyche. One of the main issue students are dealing with is self-doubt and inferiority complex.

However, the majority of the students think that “If they see someone who is so good at studies they assume that they can’t be like him/her, they think that why he/she is a genius and they are not, and why they were not born with such talent/IQ & memory”.

Our Education System

Certainly, it is a valid issue and I believe countless students deal with this similar inferiority complex because unfortunately, our education system encourages competitiveness that is why despite helping each other students learn to win from each other. If they are unable to win than they develop such an inferiority complex that is lethal for confidence and increases self-doubt.

However, to encounter this inferiority complex, let us focus on both the positive and negative sides of the problem.

The Negative Side of the Complex

Yes, we all know that the Inferiority complex is not good as I mentioned that it damages self-confidence, but let me tell you that the inferiority complex has types and you will be surprised to know that one of them is actually good for ourselves.

Mostly we only talk about the inferiority complex that is negative and results in jealousy and hatred. e.g. when some people develop an inferiority complex by comparing themselves with the people who possess more materialistic things than they have, like big houses, big cars, more money, fame, etc. They envy people, which is really harmful.

The Positive Side of the Complex

But there is an inferiority complex which is actually good and that is of Education/Knowledge. Yes if you have an inferiority complex of someone who is better than you at studies, possesses more knowledge than you than it is a good one.

One of my professors once mentioned during a lecture that if you got an inferiority complex regarding education than you should be thankful because now you will start to learn or at least try to learn something.

If you use this positive inferiority complex as an inspiration than you might excel in your studies or ultimately become a man of knowledge.

The second part of the problem

Why few people are prodigy/born genius and why we can’t be like them? 

To counter this issue, let me tell you that, there is no one or was born genius. Everybody is born with the same brain and qualities. Research papers are filled with numerous experiments suggesting that all are born with the same qualities, it’s only the habits which become personality traits that differ in people, which everyone can develop if they work on them.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote in one of his bestsellers “outliers” that it is the environment and opportunities that make somebody extraordinary than ordinary people. He also mentions that if our environment is encouraging to our talent than everyone can become a genius and shine in his/her field of interest. Because we are a product of our environment.

10,000 hours Rule

Micheal Howe writes in his bestseller “Genius Explained‘, that no one was born genius, everyone had to work hard to reach a level where people started calling them a genius. he described 10,000 hours rule to get mastery over what you are doing. This rule suggests that every genius has to practice 10,000 hours to become extraordinary in his/her endeavors.

Like Mozart-a famous musician, Charles Darwin- a naturalist/scientist, George Stephenson- a self-taught engineer, Michael Faraday – a self-taught scientist, Thomas Edison – a scientist/inventor, Newton, Einstein, etc. everyone practiced, worked hard, spent hours and hours teaching themselves, solving problems than they were able to produce a masterpiece which gave them recognition and title of a genius.

Environment and  Opportunities

The second most important thing that was helpful in their success was again the environment and opportunities which came in their way, which enabled them to focus on their work and achieve desired results.

For example, everyone thinks that Einstien used to work in a patent office with a meager salary and was not good at studies but still turn out to be a genius, that is not true at all. In fact, he was a brilliant student from the beginning. he belonged to a well-educated family which was well aware of the latest technological advancements of their time.

His father was a businessman and lead an engineering factory. which means Einstien was surrounded by people who were educated, knowledgeable, and business-minded. He was always encouraged by his family to learn and pursue new knowledge that everyone was able to receive at that time.

The same was the case with Charles Darwin– a great scientist, who belonged to a very wealthy and educated family and got the chance to study in elite universities of his time.

There are countless other similar examples are given by Michael Howe in his book regarding people and their supporting environment and opportunities they got which helped them to become a genius.

Key Factors

But along with these above-mentioned factors the other important thing that made these people a genius was that they were persistent, they practice hard, they valued the given environment and opportunities and they did not give up when they failed.

So if you think that you can not be a genius then you are mistaken, all you have to do is to focus, practice hard, identify and grab the opportunities that come in your way, and most importantly do not give up when you fail.

Last part of the problem

why students feel discouraged when they see someone better than themselves?

This mostly happens when we only see the results, not the practice, preparation, and work done by that person. So instead of being discouraged and jealous, we should empathize with them, learn from them, befriend them, and take inspiration from them. The minute we realize this we will start feeling motivated and positive.

Shoaib Ahmed

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