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Alfred Adler Psychology and SuccessAlfred Adler Psychology and Success


Alfred Adler (1870-1937)


Austrian psychologist (pictured right) who first introduced the idea of an inferiority complex.

An associate of Sigmund Freud (pictured right below) in Vienna. 

Alfred Adler Psychology and Success


His most famous book is...

The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology (1927).


What did he teach us?

 Alfred Adler Psychology and Success

1. Inferiority complex

Everyone has a feeling of inferiority, particularly in childhood, when you are motivated to copy the achievements of adults.

This inferiority creates:

  • self-confidence (from continual achievement), or
  • an inferiority complex (caused by feelings of failure).


2. Superiority complex

People with a superiority complex constantly strive towards achieving goals.

But success never gives them confidence, only the desire to seek more goals and external recognition.

 Alfred Adler Psychology and Success

3. Importance of self-esteem and compensation

Self-esteem is vital to self-confidence, positive thinking and success.

So people with physical disabilities are:

  • defeated by them, or
  • motivated to overcome problems and achieve greater success.


Key quote on life

To be human is to feel inferior

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