Do you see yourself as someone who can make a difference, or do you feel inferior to others? In a recent episode of ON Purpose, host Jay Shetty dove into three areas of life that can cause you to feel inferior. Here, Shetty gives guidance on how you can improve and turn those feelings of inferiority into something positive.


Negative Self Talk

“I am pained when I see negative self-talk and messages across social media,” Jay Shetty explained. “I read comments like, ‘I could never do that. ‘Oh, yeah, but that only happens to special people’, ‘Oh, I wish that happened to me’ or ‘That’s not going to happen for people like me.’”

Shetty recalled a time when he felt that same way. He really wanted to create content and videos but found himself procrastinating and overthinking things. He didn’t feel it was going to be possible for him.

Having been challenged with making a YouTube video, Jay Shetty’s response to himself was, “That works for like one in a million people. That works if you’re Justin Bieber. That doesn’t happen to me. I’m 28 years old, that’s not going to happen to me.”

What he didn’t realize was repeating the belief that things were not going to happen TO him was the reason things were not happening FOR him.

“It’s incredible how people create a reality for themselves based on repeated patterns of words and thoughts,” Shetty says.

Inferiority Complex

“Inferior is defined as lower in rank, status, or quality. It’s a universal human feeling. It can be compared to incompleteness, smallness, weakness, ignorance, and just overall not being able to fully rely on yourself to complete your task or your needs,” Shetty tells us. “It is a small, consistent cry that speaks to you all day. You’re not good enough. You don’t belong here. Who do you think you are? Why even bother or try?”

It may not always be a situation that makes you feel inferior. It could be how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror. Is your hair not right? Do you not like the shape of your face, or your skin, the features of your body? Maybe you are unhappy about your weight or your height. Are you always comparing yourself to others?

“If this is how you’re always going through life, believing you’re not equally as important as those around you, it has a harmful effect on your well being and how you show up at work, how you show up in your relationships, how you show up in your friendships, how you show up everywhere, Jay Shetty explains. “You will always play it small, and you’ll always play it safe and cautiously live your life.”

Shetty believes that feeling of inferiority can be a healthy motivation and encourages his listeners to use it to their benefit.

As renowned psychologist Alfred Adler once said, “The feelings of inferiority activate a person to strive upward so that normal feelings of inferiority impel each human being to solve his or her problems successfully.” Jay Shetty surmised,“You can use the feelings of inadequacy and let them motivate you.”

Shetty also shared a beautiful quote from John A. Shed. “A ship is safe in harbor. But that’s not what ships are for.”

A ship does what it was created for.  It  crosses the ocean. It deals with tumultuous waves. It helps you cross over to another place.

“That’s what our lives are about. They’re about crossing over to another side. They are about improving, growing, about moving, about traveling. So why play small? Why play safe? Why cautiously live your life?” Jay Shetty asks. “That is not what you’re here for!”


As we’re seeing today, the media is a huge reason why people may begin to feel inferior.

Malcolm X said it best when he said, “The media is the most powerful entity on the earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent.”

The media often shifts our attention from one subject to the next and from one focus to another.

“If the media is talking about a particular issue in the news, we’re talking about that issue in the news,” Jay Shetty said. People use media as a tool.

“Oftentimes, the things the media is displaying have been created by certain people, and the people that create it are creating it for themselves,” he said. “I urge you to view entertainment, social media, magazines, and everything you consume as a tool and not reality.”

Past Experiences

As Dr. Joe Dispenza has previously illustrated, “Where you choose to focus your attention is also where you will place your energy”. Paraphrasing Dr. Dispenza, suppose you choose to dwell in the past. The past will keep you from your future. When you can take your negative memories and reinvent them into positive energy, you can change yourself.

“Your identity can be linked to all the past events in your life,” Jay Shetty explains. “But when  you own, analyze, and reframe your past, you learn the lessons from them and start to create the new you.” he said. “You will no longer be wrapped up in your reality of believing the lies of someone else’s judgment. Because that’s all it is—someone’s perception of you, not your truth.”

Current Reality

The perception you have of yourself should always outweigh the opinion that others have of you.

“So many of us don’t do things because of the fear of what others might think or say, or how they’ll react,” Jay Shetty shared. Using examples from Ryan Holiday’s philosophy, as well as the Stoic teachings, Shetty urged listeners to remember that this day could be the last day on earth for any of us. So, why not go for it?

“With everything that you do, you’re either practicing something beneficial, or detrimental to your self-image,” Shetty informs us. Please decide wisely!

You Matter

As Jordan Peterson wrote in his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, you should, “Only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.” When you look in the mirror, don’t wish you were someone else or have what someone else has. Do not dwell on your imperfections. Find the joy in yourself to achieve success in a healthy manner.

“What a shame it is to live this one life in your own skin, but constantly wish it were a different shade, a different height, different shape, a different mind,” Jay Shetty expounds on. “You only have this one temple that houses your consciousness and energy. Take care of it.”

Hold yourself accountable. Be responsible for you. When you say you are going to do something, be true to your word. Push yourself to be better than you were the day before. Keep the promises you make to yourself and others.

“Whenever you don’t keep an agreement with yourself, your self-respect diminishes, declines next time around. Subconsciously your mind already knows you’re not going to follow through with whatever you tell yourself,” Jay Shetty explains. “This becomes a destructive habit that’s hard to break. When you don’t take care of yourself because you believe you do not matter, you end up becoming vengeful. You take things out on people around you.”

“Overall, you are not a positive energy to be around. You end up treating others poorly because your inner world will always reflect in reality. The more you keep your word and follow-through, your confidence and judgment of yourself will increase drastically,” says Jay Shetty. “This should be the goal.”

As you navigate the challenges of each new day, remember that you ARE enough. Do not get caught up in the world around you, trying to keep up with others or wishing to have what others have. Do not let the media become the truth that dictates your day. Know your worth. Know that you can take those past negative experiences and transform them into lessons for good.

Like the ship that crosses the sea, set your true path, and move forward confidently. Follow your internal compass. It will lead you to new and great destinations.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode, “Jay Shetty ON The 3 Reasons You Feel Inferior To Others & How To See Yourself As Someone Who Matters” on now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at

1 Shedd, John A. Salt from My Attic. Mosher Press, 1928.
2 Peterson, Jordan B., et al. 12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos. Penguin Books, 2018.

By using this site, you agree to our privacy policy.