Comparing Yourself to Others: Strategy or Tragedy?

comparing yourself to othersI feel great, special and unique.

In  fact, I really think I now have what it takes to be Amazon’s next best-selling author and the world’s highest-paid blogger.

But I’m not like this before.

For almost a year, I struggled with self-esteem issues that are rooted from deep-seated insecurities. Every little achievement I got sinks to an all-time low when I compare myself to others.

I knew something was wrong because you’re supposed to draw inspiration from someone more successful than you. Instead, I let myself wallow in self-pity. Looking at the achievement of other writers–some of which are even younger than me–turned my writing journey into a piece of crap. And to make things worse, I also compared myself to other employees who enjoy income stability and endless social contacts within a corporate setting.

For a while, I hated who I am and why I chose a freelance career.

I  felt alone, useless and lethargic. My first year as a freelance writer failed terribly not because I lack skills and experience; I failed because I let negative thoughts overpower my real potential. In other words, comparing myself to others didn’t work as a strategy for me but turned out into an utter, senseless tragedy.

And then a lightning bolt struck me. Not literally, of course. I believe it’s more like an epiphany–a divine awakening, I must say. After almost one year of comparing, I’m now trying to save my dwindling self-esteem. My freelance writing career never took off and I’m the one to blame. Tired and lonely, I know it’s time to give my life what it really deserves: A taste of first-class success.

I know that whatever I do, there are some things in life that I just have to face squarely. I may not be the greatest writer or the sexiest in the world but God has given me a talent that I can use to spark something greater than I am. All I have to do is to keep trying and striving to get what I want in life.

Are you also a victim of the “I’m no better than anyone else” syndrome? Are you one of those who can’t resist comparing apples with oranges? Perhaps your attitude also needs some overhaul. Here are some insights I have gained from this tragic but enlightening period of my life:

1. Know the real story. 

Okay. You feel miserable every time you meet someone prettier or more intelligent than you. But do you know the whole story? The most successful person you know might have been  abused as a child and have struggled for years just to get where he is today. Or maybe the prettiest girl in town is a product of a broken family and have never met a man who can take her seriously. Each of us has a story and we all feel like crap sometimes. Life is unfair but it’s up to you if you keep petty insecurities block your road to success.

2. Focus on your own story.

One crucial lesson I learned from this experience is to focus on my inner gifts. I may not be the best today but with perseverance and patience, I know success will meet me one day. So what if I’m an introvert writer who spends most of my day crafting stories and writing web contents? These are the things that make me happy and fulfilled. Just because somebody’s doing great in one field doesn’t mean you can’t do the same in your chosen career. We all have different roads to take but only one God to guide us on our journey.

Use other’s achievement as a challenge or inspiration. You might not be as privileged but you can think of better and creative ways to level up your own ball game. Life is short to spend it in regrets and self-pity. Start following your dreams today unhampered by other people’s achievements and misery. Keep you eyes on the goal and don’t let anything distract you.

Let us be greater than who we were yesterday and write our own, unique life story.

Your Turn

Do you compare yourself to others? Is it pure strategy or a plain tragedy?

Share your thoughts on the comment section below!

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