Other People's Success is not Our Responsibility: An Adlerian Perspective on Overcoming Insecurity

    Have you ever felt so uncomfortable being surrounded by pretty, high-achiever, privileged people that you think are beyond your level? Or have you ever felt so burdened by this lately high-paced society to the point that you don’t want to go out, you don’t want to try anything new because you think you know where this is all will go, a disappointment? Have you ever thought that you will never be good enough or you will never meet society's standards?

    Well, you are not alone. When someone feels a lack of confidence or anxiety about oneself or one's relationships with others, they feel insecure. It can also refer to a state of being open to danger or threat. Almost six in seven people experience these feelings. Insecurity is a pervasive human experience that can manifest in various ways, from feelings of inadequacy to self-doubt. Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist, developed a theory emphasizing the role of social connections and personal growth in overcoming insecurity. This article will explore how Adlerian psychology can help individuals manage and overcome feelings of insecurity by reframing their perspective on other people's success.

    According to Adlerian theory, insecurity arises from a deep-seated desire to belong and feel significant. When we feel disconnected from others or lack a sense of purpose, we may experience feelings of inferiority, leading to self-doubt and insecurity. Adler believed that people often feel insecure because they compare themselves unfavorably to others. This insecurity can manifest in various ways, such as fear of failure, rejection, or not being good enough. When we focus on others' successes, we may feel like we are not measuring up, leading to feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.

    Adlerian theory suggests that people often feel responsible for others' successes or failures. This can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety when others achieve success, as we may feel like we have failed to meet our own expectations or those of others. However, this sense of responsibility is an illusion, as we cannot control others' outcomes or achievements.

    Adler also believed that social connections and a sense of belonging are crucial in overcoming insecurity. He emphasized the importance of building strong relationships and fostering a sense of community. By doing so, individuals can develop a sense of security and confidence that comes from knowing they are valued and appreciated by others. Adlerian psychology also emphasizes the importance of personal growth and self-improvement in overcoming insecurity. By setting and achieving personal goals, individuals can develop a sense of purpose and direction, which can help alleviate feelings of insecurity. This growth can be achieved through various means, such as learning new skills, taking on new challenges, or pursuing personal interests.

    Adler believed that people can overcome insecurity by focusing on their own goals and achievements rather than comparing themselves to others. By setting and achieving personal goals, individuals can develop a sense of purpose and direction, which can help alleviate feelings of insecurity. This focus on personal growth can also help individuals develop a sense of self-worth that is not dependent on others' successes or failures.

Strategies for Overcoming Insecurity

    Well do not worry, Adler also provides some way to escape. Based on Adlerian principles, here are some strategies for overcoming insecurity:

1. Build strong relationships by nurturing relationships with people who support and encourage you. This can help you feel more connected and valued, reducing insecurity.

2. Focus on personal growth by setting and achieving personal goals to develop a sense of purpose and direction. This can help you feel more confident and secure in your abilities.

3. Challenge negative thoughts by identifying and challenging negative thought patterns that contribute to feelings of insecurity. Replace these thoughts with more positive and empowering ones. 

4. Practice self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness and understanding, just as you would a close friend. This can help you develop a more positive self-image and reduce feelings of self-doubt.

5. Embrace imperfection by recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and that imperfection is a natural part of life. This can help you feel more comfortable with yourself and less prone to feelings of insecurity.

    Well, Overcoming insecurity is a journey that requires self-awareness, personal growth, and a strong support network. It may take longer than we think it would, but that is always okay; everything is a process. However, by applying Adlerian principles, individuals can develop a more positive and empowered mindset, better equipped to handle life's challenges. Remember that you are not alone in your struggles, and that building strong relationships and focusing on personal growth can be powerful tools in overcoming insecurity.

    Overcoming insecurity also requires a shift in perspective, from focusing on others' successes to focusing on our own personal growth and achievements. We must remember that other people's success is not our responsibility, and that our worth and value come from our own accomplishments and personal growth.

    It is time for us to take a step back, minding our own lives and seeing them as journeys, not competitions. It is always okay to fall behind; as long as we keep going, we are still progressing. Our family members' and friends' successes are something we must celebrate. We can genuinely be happy for them without burdening ourselves to be like them. It is not easy to overcome insecurities, but keep going; you are on the right track!

    Well, here’s some other article you can read about adlerian psychology:


- Adler, A. (1927). Understanding Human Nature. New York: Greenberg.

- Adler, A. (1931). What Life Should Mean to You. Boston: Beacon Press.

Content Writer : Rani Roanliq Lamahayu

Editor : Iman Amila Fitra