Have you ever asked yourself the question, why other people are successful when others not? Or even perhaps more talented, more diligent, or luckier?
During your toddler years comparing yourself to others aids the self–development, helps shape the self-image and position yourself in the world that surrounds you. It is a natural process.
However, later these beliefs, mostly formed and shaped by lessons coming from the immediate environment, can easily turn into paralysing frustration. Influenced by such, sometimes distorted thoughts, the self-image gets damaged and you end up with low self esteem as an adult, and will underestimate yourself.
How many times a week do you think your friend, colleague, or a sibling is much better dressed, or cooks better, or are kinder to people than you? How many times a week does the thought that you are not good enough cross your mind?
Perhaps you see pictures of your friends on social media and you sadly find you can’t afford to do what they can do, or you don’t earn as much as they earn. You cannot leave the children with a parent or cannot afford a nanny, or you don’t have a partner to travel with.
At times like these, you might think you don’t deserve as much as others. You may go as far as looking back to your life and think you have accomplished nothing. You are not good enough. It is hard to get out of this emotional state, but it is not impossible.
It is essential to understand that comparing yourself with others does not push you forward and you gain nothing from it.
In fact, every time you focus on someone else, you end up not paying attention to yourself. Thus you are moving away from finding a solution for yourself. Everyone’s life path is different. You are not a mind reader and cannot see or hear someone else’s feelings. Therefore, you don’t know what the other person’s life really looks like. You only see what others show you.
On the other hand; wherever you go, you will always meet people who are more skilled at something, more successful, earn more with their job, have been living in a more fulfilling relationship for years, or have a bigger house than you.
So, what can you do when such negative thoughts are circling in your mind?
Accept that feeling down sometimes is natural
First, do not beat yourself up about feeling the way you feel. It’s a natural human behaviour to feel down sometimes, we have all felt this way before. What’s important is that you do not let this feeling overwhelm you in the long-run.
If you are unsatisfied with something in your life, be it internal, such as a thought or on emotion, or external such as your environment, you can change it.. It is entirely up to you when you begin the journey of change.
Work on yourself!
To be better than your colleagues or competitors, there is no need for a secret ”weapon’ whatsoever. Read a book about your professional field or on a subject you are interested in. Take part in seminars, workshops and courses. Attend a mentoring programme. Look for opportunities with which you can further develop your knowledge
Build and maintain helpful relationships!
The internet offers vast opportunities for building new relationships with absolute ease if you are not comfortable to go to networking events or conferences. Yet many people do not take advantage of it because of fear of rejection. Successful professionals do not keep aloof of new connections because they never know what possibilities a new connection can bring about.
Of course, it matters what kind of social media platforms we use to find these connections. LinkedIn is excellent for making professional connections, as well as various forums and Facebook groups. In addition, the above-mentioned workshops or mentoring programmes are also brilliant networking opportunities.
Step out of your comfort zone
Progress always starts when you are out of your comfort zone, so it is important that you step out of it from time to time. Albeit, it is not easy. You may find yourself in a new situation in which your usual ways are not guaranteed to bring success, or even to work. But if you overcome your fears, you gain new experiences and will benefit from the experiences in the long run. By improving your self-knowledge and opening up to new experiences, you can build or rebuild your self-confidence, self-love and self-esteem.
And when you accept yourself, your faults, weaknesses and can recognise you are unique, you no longer feel the need to compare yourself to anyone else.
Everyone is talented at something, and there are lovable qualities in everyone, that includes you!
Here is a podcast about why people don’t reach their goals.