I haven’t talked much about it on the blog, but I am in school to get a BA in Psychology. One of the classes I’m taking right now is Theories of Personality and it just so happens that during this week’s reading I read about Adler’s Inferiority Complex. It began with his studies on Organ Inferiority. The theory was that certain organs that may have problems they have to work to overcome actually end up being stronger than those that hadn’t had issues. He translated this idea to psychology as well, basically saying we all experience feelings of inferiority as children. Some people, he theorized, feel so inferior in certain areas they work so hard on that particular thing that it eventually becomes a strength.
So basically by feeling inferior we motivate ourselves to make our biggest weakness into our biggest strength.
This rings so true to me where I am right now in my life and journey. For so long I’ve been great at almost everything I have set my mind to. I got good grades in high school, always advanced quickly in the workplace, had great relationships with people… but the one thing I couldn’t conquer was my fitness. I knew that I would have to work harder on this major weakness than I did on any of my other natural strength. I may have been blessed with a sharp mind but a strong body has been harder to come by. I can’t count the number of times I have felt inferior because of my body or fitness level.
That time when I couldn’t try on all the cute prom dresses because they didn’t come in my size. That time the appliance delivery man asked when I was due (oh ya, that was just a few months ago). That time I couldn’t go on the hiking trip because I couldn’t run the mile fast enough. That time I couldn’t pass the Physical Fitness Test in ROTC. All those times, painful as they were, led to me being motivated enough to focus on my weakness and turn it into a strength. I will be a “normal” size. I will hike pike’s peak. I will be able to perform all aspects of the PFT. I will punch the delivery guy in the face… oops, got carried away with that one… (poor guy actually felt worse than I did for the record).
While fitness as a whole is the main “inferiority” that I am overcoming I have found that I have several smaller areas within the fitness realm that I am trying to focus on improving.
One is box jumps. Uhm, hello biggest fear. It’s so stupid.
Today at CrossFit the WOD included a bunch of box jumps. The smallest box they have is 18″. That is like above my knee! (What? I’m short!) I have this fear of wiping out, missing the box, or a mixture of both. Like, I haven’t even been able to work up the courage to actually try it. I got so mad at myself for it today. I ended up doing step ups instead of jumps during the WOD, and stayed after for awhile trying to get myself to do it but I couldn’t.
As I drove home I promised myself I would do whatever it took to conquer that fear and turn that weakness into a strength.
And I will. Watch me.
What is something that you consider a weakness that you want to turn into a strength?