As the second aspect of cleansing the mind – learn to know your personality type and the complexes that have defined you, which arise from beliefs and “identification biases” within your mind. Take time to revisit the article on the 4 complexes that disturb us internally and their root causes. This week we will try to conquer our “Personality complexes: Superiority/Inferiority complex”. To do so, we have to contemplate/observe our thoughts, words and deeds that cause inclination to compare between the state of individuals, and make illusory conclusions based on prejudice. It might cause one to think the self is superior to the other or that the other is superior to the self. Both of which are hasty and/or misplaced.
Day 1: Understand your true Self. Who are you? Ask yourself the question “Who am I?” Initially we may be so full of answers. Many of us have way too many identifications, with County, State, Nationality, Language, Religion, Region, Caste/Creed, Organization, etc. Now, try to give an answer that does not relate to any assumed identity that was given to you by the world. Just answer “Who am I?”, to your own Self! Eliminate all associations given by society or connecting you to people relationships like son/daughter of so and so, brother/sister, spouse of, etc. Avoid all associations that connect to offices you hold/held, boss/sub-ordinate of, businesses you run/ran, initiatives you started, war or battles you fought, etc. Now after stripping yourself off all that is external to you, contemplate “Who is the Real you?!”
Many of us may draw a blank! What causes in us a void to answer this seemingly simple question? What causes our position in existence, to be relatively defined in respect or accordance with others? Well, you will see it is simply a sense of personal “identity” which we have imparted to ourselves or which society had imposed upon us. Why do we set and try to deliver to expectations based on this assumed or false sense of identity? What does failure of meeting expectations lead to? Read on the ill-effects of comparison, expectations and stress introduced due to comparison on our body and mind. Chart out your thoughts – post the contemplation.
Day 2: What is the basis of this individuality and feeling of identity you experience? Did you observe on Day 1 and contemplate what causes this feeling of separateness from others? That which makes us feel “individually” distinct from all others. That which gives us the feeling and yearning to be different. Perhaps to be unique, to be better than all others, to be happier, to be wiser, to be richer, to have more…that which causes us to compare. That which frustrates us when we are not good enough in a certain disciple or dimension. This feeling is caused by the mind – and is the Ego (Aham) – part of the “ID” in psychology. This state of individuality consciousness causes a position (perspective) that we take to look at everything from our pivot. That is turns makes things appear comparative or relative – right, wrong, small, big, better, worse, etc. Then comparison leads to judgment and judgments to bias, the sum total of our biases define our reactions to situations, conditioning of our thoughts and drive our words and actions, which in turn define our personality.
Note this Aham – the ego and its preferences – can cause mental-insufficiency or mental-stress, it can cause negativity. In some contexts, you might have heard of the word “positive stress”. Stress is not positive/negative. It’s effects as perceived by the individual body-mind are! Our superiority or inferiority complexes – a psychological state of being – when exposed to stress cause us, to undergo the urge of motivation to excel or the surge of despair to lose hope. So it is the personality trait within us, that causes the pleasure or the pain of reacting to stress, than conquering and regulating it. Respond to situations, do not react, is a simple management principle. The way to live that principle is to experience sufficiency of being and stay balanced even on the face of stress.
Categorize people, events, situations, things, etc. that cause stress and comparison within you. Look at them objectively – what about them do you admire or abhor? Why do these things trigger a feeling of insufficiency or superiority in you? Why do you feel the need to exploit or avoid a situation? Are your making anticipations that are just probable or may even be impossible? Is your feeling of expansion or diminution – real or apparent? When do you start experiencing it? What triggers it? Can you avoid the triggers? What have you to lose if you admit the personality trait and check it from growing?
To cleanse yourself of a Superiority/Inferiority complex, first admit and accept that all of us – No matter who/what we are, from deep within have the same origins. Treat all as equals. Comparison stops when equanimity begins. When we know the absoluteness of our “Real self”, we see ourselves manifested in everyone else and understand the insignificance of ourselves as limited individuals. The one weapon against Aham(ego) is – Submission & Equality!
Just admit your ego to a Guru or life-coach. Submission – is not about becoming inferior to the Guru. It is about sincere admittance or acceptance of one’s limited self and its limitations. What happens when we do this? Firstly, our complex will be under a conscious check. We now know, we are under observation. That will cause us to be more mindful. Secondly, since we admitted to our complex, we will be more determined to make a change for the better, towards a more balanced life. Thirdly, our Guru or coach will guide us accordingly to overcome the complex and remind it to us when we falter. Over time you will overcome the feeling of superiority/inferiority or nature will teach you lessons to keep checks-n-balances that will course correct you. “Loving all as one and seeing the Soul or Real Self is key here…”
Day 3 to 5: Vigilance and Observation is the key on these days. What causes your personality to overpower your intellect and cloud your judgement? Do you stay balanced in various situations in life? Are you always a fair-player? Be watchful. Be respectful and loving to all things…observe all actions, thoughts and words – that cause “Comparison” and “Preferences” in you. Note them, with your opinions, actions and consequences.
Day 6: Look back at the week past. What all triggered “Comparison”? How many of your complexes and personal beliefs manifested into judgments and actions? How often did you manipulate and influence situations to your choices/liking? Realize “Equality” – the power of seeing ourselves in everybody and everybody in us. To live equality fully and not to judge is to learn to simply “Love all!”
Finally, review your observations and contemplation of the week with a mentor, friend or a Guru. Create a journal – write them down, helps in reinforcement later – of the things that caused “Comparison and Stress”. Document your reactions, plans, conspiracies, words, actions, thoughts and minds workings in response to situations that caused or posed “Comparison”.
Prepare a brief plan covering:
- What you will do to avoid those situations
- What will you do to respond and not react
- What will you do to handle the situation differently so as to be more calm and collected without “Judgement and Bias”
- What are the Biases you have? How severe are they?
- For every preference, opinion, bias, etc. – what were the repercussions? What was your response plan?
- For Unknown causes of a complex – deeply introspect your personality. Find hidden biases and prejudices. Document them.
- Have practical steps on what you can do to overcome the personality complex and take control of some aspect of your life.
- Have alternate plans if primary plan fails
- When all else fails and things go awry, learn to accept and “Love all, treat all as equals!” Remember the body and the mind shall go to dust. The soul lives on.
- Prepare your own approach to address comparison and personality complexes and review with a friend/mentor/Guru.
The subsequent 6 days – introspect on the above and see how you improve.
Find the link to the Mind and its Games