The Courage to Be Disliked Book Summary (5 Lessons)

Home » Book Recommendations and Book Reviews » The Courage to Be Disliked Book Summary (5 Lessons)
Get the Free Bundle: 47 Productivity Worksheets and Templates

There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Are you seeking personal growth and enlightenment? Look no further than “The Courage to Be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. This transformative self-help book provides a new perspective on happiness and success, inspired by the theories of influential 20th-century psychologist Alfred Adler.

In today’s article, we’ll discuss five lessons that can help you study the book if you already have it or help you decide if you should add this one to your collection.

If you’d like to check out the book, you can read it on your Kindle, get a print copy, or listen to the audiobook.

Lesson 1: Learn More About The Authors

Who are Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga?

Ichiro Kishimi is a lecturer and counselor, specializing in Adlerian psychology. His knowledge and expertise in this field play an integral role in shaping the book's philosophical discussions and practical applications.

Fumitake Koga, on the other hand, is an author and a dedicated student of Adlerian psychology. He played an instrumental role in bringing Kishimi's knowledge of Adlerian psychology to life in The Courage to Be Disliked.

While Kishimi provides the foundation of knowledge on Adlerian psychology, Koga translates that knowledge into an engaging and accessible narrative. Together, they created a book that has resonated with readers and gained immense popularity worldwide.

Lesson 2: What is Adlerian Psychology?

In The Courage to Be Disliked, the authors delve into the world of Adlerian psychology, also known as Individual Psychology. This school of thought owes its name to the founder, Alfred Adler.

The essence of this psychological thinking is that your individual experiences and goals have a much more profound effect on shaping your life than most may realize. The key to benefiting from this psychology is understanding how your thoughts, feelings, and actions are intertwined and determining how to break free from self-limiting beliefs.

Social Interest and Personal Growth

Adler posited that a crucial element for personal growth is the development of social interest, which means finding ways to contribute positively to society and the well-being of others.

As you learn more about this concept, you'll realize that fostering social interest helps you gain the courage to build healthy relationships and overcome feelings of inferiority. By actively engaging with others, you not only improve their lives but also enhance your own sense of purpose and fulfillment.


Another noteworthy principle of Adlerian psychology is holism, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of all aspects of a person's life. According to this viewpoint, you cannot simply focus on one aspect of your life while ignoring the others.

By prioritizing a holistic approach to personal growth, you'll gain a greater understanding of how your past experiences, current actions, and future goals are closely interrelated.

All of this in turn creates a positive feedback loop that reinforces every area of your life.

Lesson 3: Key Messages From the Book

One of the most important messages that authors attempt to convey is the idea that you can’t please everyone – which is where the book gets its namesake from.

By realizing that you can't please everyone, you can free yourself from the burden of seeking approval. This allows you to:

Overall, focusing on what you care about and disregarding judgments from people that you have limited control over is an immense net gain for your life.

Freedom and Responsibility

Taking charge of your own life comes with both freedom and responsibility. The authors offer guidance on balancing these aspects:

By owning your actions, you can enjoy greater autonomy in your life.

Overcoming Inferiority

The Courage to Be Disliked also covers the concept of inferiority complexes, which can hinder personal growth:

By overcoming feelings of inferiority, you can confidently pursue your goals and aspirations.

Lesson 4: Dealing With Rejection and Success

While understanding the key concepts and messages from the book is important, it’s equally important to understand how to apply this information to your life. Rather than just laying out a bunch of principles and offering you no direction, the book helps you to apply the knowledge by offering real-world examples.

One very important area that the book provides guidance for is dealing with rejection and seeing the bigger picture in how it helps you succeed in the long term.

Rejection can be a tough pill to swallow, but it's important to remember that even the most successful people have faced rejection at some point in their lives. When you experience rejection, it's crucial to maintain a positive outlook and learn from the experience.

One notable example is J.K. Rowling, who faced numerous rejections from publishers for her now world-famous Harry Potter series. Instead of giving up, she remained persistent and ultimately found great success.

Lesson 5: Understanding The Impact of Comparisons

Comparing yourself to others can be a significant source of unhappiness. In The Courage to Be Disliked, the authors emphasize the importance of focusing on your own goals and achievements, rather than constantly measuring your progress against that of others.

For instance, in the world of social media, it's easy to fall into the trap of equating “likes” and “follows” with self-worth. But by concentrating on your growth and interests, you can resist the urge to compare and ultimately find greater joy in your life.


  • Focus on your accomplishments and personal growth
  • Develop a strong sense of self-worth independent of others’ opinions and reactions
  • Avoid falling into the comparison trap through social media and other external sources

Embrace the mindset of valuing your journey over your need for validation from others, and watch as your life transforms for the better.

Final Thoughts on The Courage to Be Disliked

In The Courage to Be Disliked, Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga present an eye-opening approach to life based on the theories of the influential psychologist, Alfred Adler. Throughout this book, you'll realize that you have the power to break free from the past and tap into your true potential.

The Courage to Be Disliked offers practical wisdom that, if applied, can lead to a transformative shift in your perspective on life. Embrace the lessons from this book and watch as your life and relationships flourish, all while having the courage to embrace your authentic self.

Now, as a reminder, if you’d like to check out the book, you can read it on your Kindle, get a print copy, or listen to the audiobook.

For more like this or to further expand your courage and reach your full potential, check out these articles:

the courage to be disliked summary | the courage to be disliked book review | the courage to be disliked