Thoughts, Engagements, and Updates

28 Apr 2014

The Never Good Enough Syndrome


I was humbled by an intimidating presence of a guy that was like 1 feet and half taller than I recently. It was a chagrining experience! For once in my longitudinal life, I saw myself as an averagely short guy which I previously thought was a slanderous defamation of my 184cm height. I felt poorly out of place, wishing I was a bit taller. Truth was, at that point right there I saw myself inferior to the other guy. It is frustrating when we encounter thoughts and feelings of inadequacy or see ourself as being second in place. For heaven’s sake, my 184cm trim is a perfect height any guy could ask for. In the real sense of it all, the guy’s height was out of place and not mine. But I allowed myself to feel bad about what makes sense.

I am in my twenties and apparently at my prime as a millennial. For those that know me personally, I am easily spotted by my pathologically thin body and chunky belly. And of course you can guess what that means. “It’s not really insulting to call a man skinny, but it sure as hell isn’t a compliment either,” says Colonel Rob. It could be an insult depending on how it’s used. Well an insult which I was already used to. Look at it this way, calling a woman fat isn’t necessarily an insult, it could be a statement of fact. But you will be shocked if you can ever call a woman fat and get away without being cussed to your grave. Calling a man skinny is the opposite of this. My friends have brutally made fun of my deep anorectic body and as a result I decided to do something about it.

I finally decided to fight my embarrassment. So couple of months ago, I travelled on study leave and decided to start working out. Thank God my school program was considerably flexible and afforded me the time to balance school and have fun a few hours out of the week. Now with almost two months of consistent hard work and putting my muscles to work, I will sympathetically admit that I have wrung it to shape. This should make me feel happy, right? But does it make me any different than I usually was? NO! Except that I have to walk like a peacock and spend more money eating chicken drumsticks to feed my hungry muscles. My trainer even advised I eat 4-6 times in a day. Wahala!!! Now I am paying the price of an immaterial whim: spending more money on food and squeezing the life out of my anorexic body to hatch muscles.

Unfortunately, we learn during our childhood that being masculine means that you are above, superior or more desirable and that being feminine means that you are weak, less desirable or perhaps a gay. Really, appearances shouldn’t matter. Fed with lies about how unattractive my skinny body was, yet I dated beautiful and intelligent and smart ladies without any limitation. Now what do I get exerting my muscles? Nothing but a physique that signals “flirty” to every good girl I meet. Sad! Should I stop? I don’t think is a good idea especially with my barrage eating habit. The ironic consequence of quitting physical body training after months of consistent muscle exertions will be an overnight mutation of obesity that is out of proportion. And since I don’t want to be the next fluffy guy in town, I have to keep up with the workouts. I will see it through to the end and perhaps gain some stamina, which I think is the most responsible reason to workout. Another reason is to stay healthy, which is ultimately independent of exerting muscles.

All cultures, religions and societies tend to value and reward conventionally accepted behaviors to the extent that those who deviate from it develop feelings of insecurity and inferiority.

The same applies to entrepreneurship.

A lot of time we imagine other people looking down on our business idea, whereas the reverse is the case: it was really us looking down on ourself. Inferiority complex happens in business. Some of us have been scapegoats of another person’s reality at one point or the other. And we’ve ignorantly put ourself through the deep, sharp razor of comparism when nurturing that immaterial feeling of “not being good enough”.

Inferiority complex in entrepreneurship can become a menace for new entrepreneurs and can lead to a feeling of inadequacy to compete at the marketplace, especially when you are new to the market and scratching for a space to breath. This can rupture disappointment, loneliness and depression.

One thing is clear. My muscles are visible now but it has not changed who I am and neither has it contributed to the depth of my creativity.  The solution to inferiority complex is not by imitation but compensationIf you feel you lack a particular skill your competitors have that made them stay at the top, may be is high time you think of what your skill can do for you to make you stand out.Don’t try to develop strength in another man’s ability. You will always remain second class if you do so. Other people may need to be like others to remain at the top but definitely not you because you are born to lead an idea. The best way to overcome inferiority complex is not by being like your competitors but being your own competitor. Knowing what you want and drilling yourself out through uninterrupted nights of hard work and mental stimulation to be the best you can be.

Don’t compete with others. Be compared by others.

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