I struggle with this myself on at least a weekly basis. It could be TV commercials showing me large homes are fancy cars that are far from my reality. Other days it may be a successful actor or book author who started with nothing, or the model who was found at the local supermarket. How did these people give up a comfortable life to pursue their dream? Why were they lucky enough to have their hidden talent discovered while others are rejected over and over?
When you start feeling like a failure, like you’re stupid, too slow, unmotivated, or too lazy to succeed, stop and see what made you feel this way. Often it is simply that someone you know or someone on TV has made it seem that their success happened overnight. Whether or not that is true, there is no useful reason to compare yourself to them.
We all move at our own pace. I have discovered that mine is very sporadic. I may work feverishly for a few months, and then do nothing to achieve my goals for a month, two months or even more. Instead of listening to other people’s criticism on how nobody can get ahead if they don’t keep working, I’ve started taking the break I feel I need. Then when I’m ready, I get back into doing whatever I started.
My progress may be slower than others because of this tendency, but at least I haven’t given up. That is the greatest downfall that comparing yourself to others can do – it can make you give up because you haven’t gotten as far, created as much, or learned as fast compared to other people on the same or similar journey.
What a bunch of baloney! There are a million other success stories where people succeeded because they stopped fighting themselves, and did what worked for them. Listen to yourself. Take some quiet time alone and see if your path is the right one for you. Don’t worry about what your family or friends might think. When you’ve found the goal that’s right for you, start working on it.
Approach your dreams at your own pace and in your own style. If habits and techniques others have used can help you, then great, use them. But if trying to emulate someone else is only slowing you down or making you feel guilty, then stop. Only you can decide if the direction you are headed is the right one for you.
Look back at your own life and see what kind of progress you’ve made. Are you more of the person you want to be now? If so, continue doing what works. If you haven’t gotten where you wanted to be, go back and reassess how you’ve gotten off track. Looking at your own personal development is far more effective than comparing yourself to someone who may have any number of opportunities, more support or better finances than you. Don’t sell yourself short.
Above all, gauge your success based on your own life. Most of us can look back and see how we learned and grown in the past year. If you feel your growth was too slow, pick up the pace a bit. If you feel fine as you are, then let it be. Your own particular goals and objectives will differ from those around you. You are the best judge of what works and what doesn’t. You aren’t necessarily better or worse than anyone else, just different. Whether your road to success is long or short, it’s best to enjoy the journey you’re on. Good luck!