Our complexes make up a big chunk of our personalities and can be at the root of some of those screwed up patterns we play on repeat. The good news is, we have the power to uproot our complexes and stare those people in the face before ultimately letting them go. Here are 8 complexes that need to be kicked to the curb:
- Imposter Syndrome. Coined by Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, Imposter Syndrome is when you feel like a fraud despite accolades and high achievement — and hey, this will piss you off: Imposter Syndrome disproportionately affects women over men. You rock. You’ve earned and deserve your success, you’re not a fraud, and no one’s about to “find you out.” Accept that your success isn’t just luck and you’re the creator, at least in part. Look your beautiful self in the mirror and declare: “I am the real deal!” because you totally are.
- Inferiority Complex. We all compare ourselves to others — that’s natural. The problem is when our comparisons lead down the rabbit hole of “I’m not good enough” laments. When you start to spiral into your inferiority complex, stop yourself. Scream in your car, punch pillows, enjoy a craft beer — I don’t care what you do, but recognize it and swiftly stop it. Life is much easier when you recognize that you are good enough and, doggone it, people like you.
- Superiority Complex. While I can’t decide if the inferiority or superiority complex is worse, I am certain that they’re both annoying. People sporting a superiority complex think they’re better than everyone else. Stop, just stop. You’re not better than everyone else. You’re not better than ANYONE else. Even worse, some people put on an air of superiority to mask feelings of inferiority. Please, just get over yourself.
- Guilt Complex. I blame a Victorian hangover for the omnipresent guilt complex. First, buried under feelings of guilt is no way to live. Second, whatever bad thing happened, it probably wasn’t your fault. Bad stuff happens. You do not have control over events. You are not God. In the rare event something really was your fault, then apologize sincerely, don’t do it again, forgive yourself and let that stuff go.
- The “I’m Sorry” Complex. Confession: This is one of my pet peeves. I can’t stand people who incessantly apologize for stuff they didn’t do or stuff that isn’t their fault. It makes me want to scream, “Are you sorry? Or are you a sorry person?” If you’re genuinely sorry for something I am experiencing, like a loss or illness, feel free to say so. But if you’re spouting off “I’m sorry” every time you have a question or saying you’re sorry for your thoughts or feelings, for being hurt by someone else’s offense or if you’re apologizing because you’re apologizing: stop.
- Negative Body Image. That’s right: screw your body image issues. As painful as it is to admit, we’ve all cursed our bodies for not being this enough, or that enough. It’s the I’m too fat, my muffin top puts the Pillsbury Doughboy to shame, my ass needs its own zip code. Or the I’m too thin, I have the curves of a 12-year-old boy, my ass is flat, blah blah blah. Can we please let this go now? Our bodies are amazing. We can run marathons, throw triple axles, and literally grow another human being.
- Superwoman Syndrome. The Superwoman Syndrome was born of women stepping into their own power. That’s rad, but it’s gone too far. Are you over-committed and still taking on new projects? Are you your own worst critic, never living up to the crazy-ass expectations you (and only you) put on yourself? Do you move on to the next task, forgoing the moment to celebrate a success? If so, you might have Superwoman Syndrome. Listen, you have every right to sport that badass cape, but you can’t do it all and you don’t have to. Do your best, let the rest go. When you hang your cape up at the end of the day, remind yourself that you did enough and that you are enough.
- Savior Complex. No, just no. The only fixer-upper you should ever have in your life is the house you’re buying to fix, flip, and make a fortune off of. Men are not creatures to be fixed, changed or saved. Men are not projects. He may be “one of the good ones”… later, down the road, when he fixes his own stuff.