The basic fear in all of us is the fear of each other, and our most common worry is the worrying of what others think of who we are and what we do.
Even when we strive to impress others, we are motivated to do so by the fear of rejection or not being valued. Ego, in my opinion, is fear-based, because the truly confident person says nothing. Why? It’s because they draw no benefit from your opinion of them. If they did, their confidence would derive from others, which would mean they aren’t truly confident.
How We Measure Ourselves
I believe the reason why we suffer from having a sense of inferiority is because of the way we determine, or measure, our value. For example, if you had grown up on a remote island all by yourself, would you have a sense of inferiority? Probably not, and that’s because there was no one else to compare yourself with.
Comparison is one way that we measure ourselves, and this can be healthy, or it can be damaging. To measure your musical skills by comparing yourself to your guitar teacher can be healthy. To measure your value by comparing your looks to that of another is unhealthy.
And like a patient who fears hearing their test results, we fear “putting ourselves out there” to be seen, or judged by others, because we fear the results. Every time we see someone prettier, taller, stronger, richer, etc, it’s like we’re seeing our test results, and that outcome is never good.
“Your House is Now Small”
I’ll often state it this way. Let’s say you live in a comfortable 1,200 square foot house. You’ve lived there for a couple years, you’ve gotten used to it, you love your home, and you’re thankful for it.
Then you strike up a friendship with someone who eventually invites you over to her house for dinner. She gives you a passcode for the gate that stands at the entrance of her subdivision, which is your first clue that she has a larger home than you.
When you arrive, you find your suspicion was true, but you also underestimated it. This was more than a larger house. That night you’ll be dining in a 10,000 square foot home!
You have a great time, but when you return home a change happens in the way you think. To you, your house is no longer 1,200 square feet—the accurate size of your home. Your house is now, “small,” which is an arbitrary and subjective form of measurement. After all, your house is still “huge” to someone living in a box on the street!
Why Your Life is Not Over
Does it really matter how large your house is? To a lot of people, yes it does, but in truth, there isn’t any intrinsic value to the size of one’s dwelling. Neither is there any value in most things we’re concerned about.
I define “success” as “maximizing your resources (all that you are, and all that you can do) for a purpose greater than yourself,” and in that sense, the only one you need to be “better than” is you. Others don’t matter.
You have a single obligation in life, which is to develop yourself, and that’s because so long as there is untapped potential in you, it’s the clearest indicator that your life is NOT over. Therefore, I recommend that you cast off your fear of the judgment of others and strive to be better than you. It’s the only way to experience true and lasting fulfillment.
Real Happiness Comes from Self-Improvement
Real happiness comes from personal development, which is nothing more than daily commitment to bettering yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and so on. But let’s face it, not too many are doing that. Most people are not growing in knowledge; their emotions run wild; they eat like shit, and they don’t exercise. They get poor results but blame life for it.
So, ask yourself, “What am I doing to maximize all that I am, and all that I can do? Am I doing it daily?” If you can’t answer the question, then maybe it’s time to tear up your contract with mediocrity and commit yourself to self-improvement. Why keep repeating the past—or worse?
Lastly, the two keys to effective self-improvement are principles and coaching. We need to know the principles that create improvement, and we need the mentoring and support of others to help keep us on track. If you’d like to learn about how you and I—and many others—can work together to make that happen, then I recommend my Life Domination Online Coaching Program. If you’d just like to know more about the principles of real achievement and lasting change, then I recommend my Life Domination Audio Series.