My program for fighting feelings of inferiority
Many men in modern society suffer from feelings of inferiority, and I am trying to create a program to “fix” these feelings of inferiority.
In the primal dominance hierarchy, the alpha male sits at the top and does whatever he wants, and the lower-ranked apes obey and submit to the alpha male. Evolution enforces the dominance hierarchy by inducing feelings of anxiety into the lower-ranked males. Social anxiety is when individuals who see themselves as “lower” in the dominance hierarchy feel anxiety whenever they even consider doing something they think may offend the alpha male.
I believe that many of the problems face, especially those relating to women, stem from experiences in their life that have caused them to feel like they are the inferior male in the dominance hierarchy. These circumstances can include bullying, abuse, a history of failure, a lack of good family and/or friends, or a myriad of other circumstances. The symptoms of this inferiority complex include anxiety (both generally and socially), depression, poor performance with women, social isolation, lack of self-esteem, lack of motivation, addiction, self-destructive behaviors, and many others. People with subconscious or conscious feelings of inferiority are often afraid to approach women, supplicate to people for nothing in return, fear confrontation, and generally see themselves as “beneath” other people.
To my knowledge, there is no complete program on the internet to fix the specific problem I am identifying (if there is, please let me know). Therapy is not enough because, even if the therapist correctly diagnoses the problem (which is probably rare), the subject will not improve unless they engage in a strict routine of lifting, meditation, self-improvement, and practice in social settings.
Feelings of inferiority are very common and in fact, everybody has these feelings to some degree because we are all inferior in some way to some other person. The age of mass media is constantly making us aware that somebody is better than us at whatever we do. The challenge, however, is to not allow the reality that we can improve to congeal into a general feeling of inferiority. I am not trying to create a bunch of arrogant douchebags – I just want guys to realize that if another guy is better than you at something you should not feel emotionally “beneath” him. He’s just a person and you can reach his level if you work hard enough (usually).
The following is a “first draft” of my program. My goal here is to create a “mandatory minimum” set of steps one should take and a series of steps anybody can take. So for example, in the “lifting” section I say that one should work every major muscle group once a week. I actually think you should work out more than that, but I wanted to create an absolute minimum baseline. There is a ton of stuff you can put on this list, but I wanted to put only that stuff is absolutely required for everybody and not subjective or controversial. I realize that people’s daily schedules are unpredictable, so I have made all my recommendations on a weekly basis. Ideally, everybody would have a chart with a checklist for each week, and they would check off all of the elements as they accomplish them each week.
I am not an expert on this, so I am curious to see what people here think is “absolutely required.”
The program is divided into four separate steps. The steps are designed to be chronological in order but also concurrent. So for example, you need to learn to love yourself before you confront people, but you should continue working on loving yourself after you get to the point where you can confront people.
The program is also meant to be a religion rather than a guide. By “religion” I mean that you shouldn’t read this and say “wow, that’s interesting, maybe I’ll try some of that someday.” Instead, this should be an ongoing program you should immediately commit to and do no matter how you feel that particular week or whatever else you have going on. Part of the reason I created this program out of mandatory minimums and uncontroversial tasks is to eliminate any excuse anybody could have to not immediately commit to and stick to this program.
Finally, this program is not an overall “be an awesome guy” program. Rather, it has a specific goal – to eliminate feelings of inferiority. Many “beta” males and those with feelings of inferiority are perfectly successful in our society and their submissiveness is often an asset in their professional life.
Clean your mind
Anxiety and depression often team up to cause, and then feed off of, pointless rumination and thinking in the head of the subject. Because this thinking is subconsciously influenced by the thinker’s anxiety, depression, and fear, this thinking congeals into false, self-limiting, and negative beliefs. Because the brain of a beta male is a factory constantly creating new negative beliefs based on his negative emotions, it is difficult to overcome these negative beliefs by only reading or watching stuff. You must change your emotions first. However, throughout this entire process you must be diligently analyzing yourself, identifying irrationally negative beliefs, and eliminating them. This is hard because these beliefs are deeply subconscious and have become such a part of your wiring that you have accepted them as self-evidently true.
The modern media and internet landscape also deluges us with information, much of which is negative and often designed to perpetuate feelings of inferiority. Most philosophy, religion, and modern self-help is also just useless speculation, over-analyzation of simple concepts, and marginally helpful advice. Much of the “positive” information we learn is often factually true but irrelevant in most contexts, incomplete, ideally good but useless practically, or does not produce an adequate return on investment.
To retain our sanity and positivity, we must limit our information intake somehow. Here are my steps to clearing your mind.
Engage in some type of spiritual practice for 2 hours a week This can be meditation, prayer, rituals, contemplation, or even just reading. By “spiritual practice” I mean any activity that focuses all of your thoughts and emotions on something “spiritual” or “higher” than your mundane daily thoughts and emotions. Under my definition activities like hunting, surfing, and even psychedelic drugs can be spiritual practices if one’s thoughts and emotions are fully engaged.
I know it will be controversial to call spiritual practices mandatory, but I believe that if a man is caught in an emotional death spiral – bad emotions create bad thoughts which create bad actions which create bad emotions, etc…, one must break out of that cycle by stepping outside of one’s normal thoughts and emotions, at least for a little bit. The irony is that most people already engage in “spiritual” practices where they check out of their daily life (getting drunk, playing video games, watching mindless movies) but because the thing they are occupying their mind with is worse than their regular emotions, they just get pulled deeper into the emotional death spiral.
Limit your intake of knowledge that is not practical Many of my clients are “over-intellectualized,” by which I mean they spend hours and hours a day reading, watching videos, thinking, discussing, etc…, but never actually DOING anything. Ask yourself honestly “what is the practical use of the information I am consuming?” If the answer is nothing, or very little, you are consuming information for recreation and nothing more. It’s fine to consume information for recreation, but you must limit that intake to 15 hours a week – I know that sounds a lot, but again, I am just shooting for a mandatory minimum.
For example, I realized that following politics was mental masturbation for me. I was becoming afraid, angry, self-righteous, and arrogant (because I thought I was smarter than people who didn’t follow politics) over stuff that I had no ability to affect. I still love politics, but when I read about it now I know that I am doing the same thing as a guy who plays dungeons and dragons.
Most mental masturbators do not realize this, but they subconsciously enjoy consuming useless information precisely because it is useless. When consuming useless information there is no consequence to being wrong, there is no real challenge to overcome (you can quit reading any time it gets boring or hard), and there is no schedule or curriculum you must follow.
My clients justify their mental masturbation by saying stuff like “I need to learn about the world” or “I need to find myself” or “I don’t want to look stupid” or “I need to know my beliefs.” My response is that if you are not practically applying knowledge, it is useless. Your “beliefs,” what people think of you, and what you think your “self” is, are all irrelevant - what you DO matters.
Fix your beliefs As I stated earlier, if you have feelings of inferiority, fixing negative beliefs is like playing whack-a-mole because your brain is constantly creating new negative ones. This is why improving your emotional state is much more important than “figuring out what you believe.”
Nevertheless, you should be squashing counterproductive beliefs the moment you encounter them. I cannot tell you what you believe, but I will generally say this: the world is infinitely complex and constantly changing, so nobody can really ever know anything. Anything that anybody knows is subjective, temporary, and most likely incomplete. Therefore, any fact you think or know or believe you have can be wrong, and you must proceed with that sort of “open mind.” The sheer uncertainty and possibility in the world can became dark and terrifying if you are wired negatively emotionally, so you must encounter these types of questions with a positive mindset, not a negative one. Take 15 minutes a week to write about some of your beliefs and “stress-test” them to determine if they are bullshit or not. Here is a test I use: if any belief or thought tells me to not take actions, it is immediately invalid and irrelevant.
Learn to love yourself
Because people at the bottom of the dominance hierarchy depend on the alpha male’s acceptance to remain in the tribe, people that feel inferior become emotionally dependent on people they see as above them for validation and approval. The most common example is a man who needs a woman to maintain his self-esteem, but this can also occur with friends, family, your boss, society, the media, etc…
The goal for this step is to disconnect your self-perception of your value from what others think of you. Your assessment of yourself should be based on objective factors, not the compliments or insults of other people. The best way to do this is to engage in some type of activity that produces objective results. This is why people who play sports are generally more successful in life – they have self-esteem because they can point to the scoreboard. People will always try to tear you down, but if there is an objective measurement of your success, you will care less what they say.
To product objective results, you must engage in a hobby or business where you produce rather than consume. If you ask most people about their hobbies, they will say things like “reading, watching movies, going to brunch, etc…” – in other words, CONSUMING. Some consumption is fine, but it does not produce any objective results that can improve your self-esteem. You must PRODUCE. Ideally, you should have at least one hobby that involves art and one that does not. Art is a great way to produce, but because there are no objective standards for evaluating its quality, it may become self-masturbatory for people.
I will say that you need to spend one hour a week on a creative activity and one hour a week on some other kind of productive activity.
Even if you do make objective progress, you still need the emotional feeling of love. It’s just a fact that humans were wired to need to feel loved, and unfortunately a lot of people with inferiority complexes never received love growing up. Some of my clients tell me “well I’ve always been an outcast, so I don’t need people.” Nope. Wrong. Everybody is wired to feel like they are part of the dominance hierarchy, so you can’t just check out and say “I don’t need people.” Everybody needs people, even the loner who lives in the woods by himself. By remaining an outcast, you are just perpetuating your feelings of inferiority.
Fixing this is incredibly difficult, and probably one of the hardest parts of this entire program.
First, you need to find at least three people who love you – friends or family. By “love” I mean that these three people must support you and provide you positive emotions no matter what your material conditions are and what you are going through – in other words, love with no conditions. You cannot use a romantic relationship as a source of “love” in this sense because the “love” of a woman in a romantic relationship is almost always predicated on certain conditions.
For some of you, finding three people who love you will be difficult. For others, it will be easy. For those of you who already have people who love you, reconnect with these people and do not take their love for granted. You have a biological need to feel loved to feel like you have a place in the dominance hierarchy. For those of you who do not have three people who love you, you must find it somehow. You may have to find some new friends and really put the work in to prove to them that you are a good person. It is worth doing this even if your new friends are “losers” – remember, you literally need the emotion of being loved so their loyalty and constancy is more important than their attractiveness, money, fun, etc…
Next, you must confront your past trauma and eliminate the subconscious thoughts that first caused to feel inferior. This will require deep, painful self-examination and you may need to get a therapist (please remember that many therapists are bad). Once you figure out what originally caused you to feel inferior, you need to simply release these thoughts and feelings. I think that many people subconsciously think that they need to hold onto these negative feelings because they must be self-critical to “stay in line” or “be humble” or “do the right thing.” There is nothing wrong with being self-critical or humble, but your humility must be based in logic rather than feelings of inferiority. If you made a mistake in your past, make an objective analysis of that mistake, figure out what you did wrong, vow to never do it again, and then MOVE THE FUCK ON. Holding onto negative feelings based on past failures will hinder you emotionally.
Finally, you must eliminate your emotional “needs.” Modern society is designed to make men and women feel inferior by constantly making them feel like they are worthless if they do not make a certain amount of money, drive a certain kind of car, wear certain clothes, etc… The media constantly bombards us with images of people living amazing lives, and we fail to consider that many of these images are fake or leave out the struggle and difficulty those people. Many modern men believe they need to have sex with lots of beautiful women or they are somehow inferior, not realizing that the vast majority of men do not regularly have sex with anybody, much less beautiful women. The more “needs” you eliminate the less inferior you will feel. Although you should always seek to improve yourself, you should not weigh yourself down with the emotional feeling that you need to have thing X or have accomplished thing Y or else you are a failure.
Let’s take one hour a week to do one of the aforementioned things to make ourselves feel more loved.
Create your list of boundaries
Every man should have a list of “rules” that govern his social interactions. It is even more important for a “beta” male to have this list because, as a beta, your emotions will naturally push you to supplicate to others. Part of overcoming feelings of inferiority is rationalizing and verbalizing actions and thoughts that had previously been emotional and unspoken. Once you start actually verbalizing the things you are doing for girls, your friends, and your boss, you will often realize how absurd you sound and how much of a doormat you are being.
Creating a list of rules is like creating a list of beliefs: if you naturally see yourself as a beta, your brain will constantly create “rules” that are too permissive of bad behavior and too submissive. I cannot create a complete list of rules for every man, but I can create a framework for you to analyze your rules wither. You should also run your “rules” by other (reasonable) people to see what they think.
My framework Generally, everything you do for another person will fall under one of two categories: obligations and charity. An “obligation” is something you must do because it would be morally wrong to not do. For example, if somebody agrees to meet you at 8 PM at a restaurant, and they show up on time, but you show up late, you have done something wrong because they DID something for you and you did not return the favor. Generally, you are only obligated to do things for people if they have done, or will do, the same for you. Other people’s words do not create obligations for you, but their actions do. So if somebody says “I promise I will be there at 8” you don’t really have an obligation towards them, but if they have a history of showing up on time, then you should show up on time. Nevertheless, a promise creates an obligation on your part, and I also assume the best about people, so if I make plans to meet somebody at 8 PM, I will show up on time.
Everything else you do is charity. Charity is doing something for somebody they do not deserve because they have not done the same for you. There is nothing wrong with charity – giving to others feels good. But do not expect anything in return for charity. If you do expect something in return, then you are not doing charity at all – you are being a “nice guy” and trying to curry favor with people by doing stupid little favors for them. For example, buying a girl a drink at a bar is charity – she has not done anything for you, and if she leaves and fucks another guy after you buy her a drink, you cannot be angry because she had no obligation to you.
The charity/obligations dichotomy is a good starting point for creating boundaries. Whenever you feel pressured, either by yourself or others, to do something for somebody, ask yourself whether it is your obligation or charity. If it is not an obligation, do not do it unless you are totally fine with receiving no return on your investment.
I am not imposing a specific weekly program for this. This should be an ongoing process.
At the most primal level the alpha male of an ape tribe received that title because he physically defeated the other apes. Period. Therefore, I highly recommend a workout program to help eliminate feelings of inferiority. I am not saying you should fight people or become some tough guy douche, but you must feel like you at least have a chance in a physical struggle with another man. Again, the following workout program is the mandatory minimum.
Cardio 30 minutes at least twice a week, preferably 4 times a week.
Lifting You should engage in some type of lifting program where you target all of the major muscle groups at least once a week. The major muscle groups are chest, arms, back, and legs. Do at least two exercises for each. Again, this is the bare minimum. Ideally, you should hit every major muscle group twice a week.
Diet I find it recommend to require a particular type of diet because of how subjective diet and nutrition are for people. My requirement for diet right now is that you should make one improvement to your diet every week that you can sustain over the long term. It can be a small improvement – switching from Coke to Diet Coke, eating one less cookie at dessert, etc… If you want to do more, go ahead – this is just the mandatory minimum.
Engage in some type of combat sport. I hate to make this a requirement, but I really think that if you are serious about overcoming feelings of inferiority, you need at least one hour of a combat sport for the pure evolutionary reason that the alpha male evolved to be the superior fighter. I will say one hour a week.
This is the most important, yet most difficult step of this whole process. All of the steps about fixing your beliefs and stuff was to get you ready for this step.
Confrontation therapy means that you need to have social interactions with people where you do act or feel submissive. The “confrontation” does not have to be hostile, it can be as simple as an introduction. People with feelings of inferiority subconsciously feel like most people they do not know are “higher” than them, so they are afraid to even say hi to a stranger because their social anxiety subconsciously makes them feel like they may anger the alpha male and get rejected from the tribe. Most people do not understand (or believe in) this complex psychological process, which is why there is no real program that can reliably eliminate approach anxiety in everybody.
My routine for confrontation therapy: Every week, you must approach and introduce yourself to six strangers, at least three of whom must be women. If you think approaching random men is weird, then you can approach all women – you just need to get your six approaches in. These strangers can be anybody in any context: the guy at Starbucks, a woman at the gym, etc… If you feel like it is inappropriate to approach somebody in a particular context (you are at a funeral, the girl is working out, etc…), then wait for a context where you think it is appropriate, but nevertheless you must get your six approaches in.
They key to confrontation therapy is that when you approach, you must ACT and FEEL LIKE you are the superior party in the conversation. By “superior” I do not mean that should act douchey or snobby towards them – I simply mean like you must feel that at a primal level, you are higher than them in the dominance hierarchy. Many people mistakenly believe that the way to act “alpha” in an introduction is to make a very serious face and shake the other person’s hand with a vice grip. I disagree – the best way to be the “alpha” in an introduction is to smile and approach the person joyfully.
The only real way to get rid of feelings of inferiority is to “win” these confrontations. You do not need to objectively “win” the confrontation, but you must win emotionally in the sense that you must not “feel” submissive to the other person. The person does not need to like you or accept your introduction – in fact, you can still “win” if they harshly reject you. If they reject you, there will be a brief moment where your brain will want to accept the “submissive” or “inferior” position in the dominance hierarchy vis-a-vis that person. You must resist and keep your actions, body language, and mental state in the mode of the superior person – happy, joyous and confident. If they say the rudest, meanest shit to you ever, just smile and say “ok, thanks!” and walk away. Do not get into actual confrontations or fights with people – they have no obligation to help you or be nice to you – you are working on your internal emotional state.
This is all easier said than done. If you suffer from feelings of inferiority, you will feel sick to your stomach, your heart will pound, you will feel extreme nervousness, etc… But remember, that your actions influence your emotions, which then influence your thoughts. So actions come first – you make the approach and you will feel better about it later. At that moment, it will feel like hell and you will want to curl up into a little ball, but you must power through.