Is someone else’s success slowing you down? Is your progress being ruined by what you see other people accomplishing? Maybe you don’t even realize how much other people’s success affects you, but there is a huge influence factor that needs to be addressed. You need to be able to have your own journey. Your own story, that is not ruined or diminished because someone else is farther along their journey then you are.
Have you ever been scrolling Instagram and thought “man I wish I had thought to try that!” Or, maybe you saw someone that has lost weight and looks super fit. Sometimes we are paying more attention to other people’s achievements, and we don’t even realize we have stopped our journey because we feel inadequate.
Let’s break down exactly how you are being influenced and what you can do about it!
1. You Are Wasting Your Time
Are you trying to learn everything you can from people who are doing things with success! That’s awesome! And a great strategy. But sometimes, we get to caught up in following other people’s lives, and we end up forgetting about our own.
If you spend all of your time seeing what they are eating or what new business practice they started using then you aren’t spending any time pursuing your goals. You are essentially handing someone else your time (which is always your most valuable resource,) and ignoring your own priorities.
You need to put yourself first. Be selfish and take care of your needs for once. I have heard a lot of people use the analogy of safety on a plane. When they tell you to put your mask on before assisting anyone else, it’s for a purpose! If you are not functioning well, how are you going to really be able to show up for the people you care about?
If you spend all of your time watching others accomplish their dreams and goals, then you are not taking the time for yourself to do what you need to.
2. Resentful Feelings and Judgement
How are you going to stay positive and happy to keep moving on your journey, when you are wasting your energy judging others? Stop wasting energy judging others, but also stop judging people simply because it is not your business. You don’t know their story, their struggles or their motivations.
You can sit there and be judgemental of people that spend 2 hours in the gym every day and say to yourself “well obviously I would be in shape too if I had that much time I could waste in the gym every day!” Stay positive, and encouraging. How do you feel when people judge your efforts? Wouldn’t you rather someone say “wow, they sacrificed going to a movie so that they had time to go to the gym.” That’s dedication!
You don’t know their journey or motivation. Maybe, they are using the gym to battle their depression because it is a great outlet for energy and gets them out of the house. It could be that they are working out to distract them from what they want. Maybe, they are hoping for your life of kids and a spouse to come home to. The gym may be how they delay going home at the end of the day to an empty house. No matter what the situation is, you do not know someone else’s story.
Chances are, and I super want you to consider this next time you find yourself judging someone else. Even for the smallest thing. I want you to consider if your judgment is coming from a place of conviction. Are you judging them because it is an area you feel inadequate in? Maybe you have been ignoring the gnawing feeling in your gut that you need to work on something and now you are judging someone else instead of admitting where you are slacking.
3. Their Journey is Not Your Journey
You are your own person. This story can be yours. Have you ever watched a movie and thought “man I have seen this same plot over and over in other movies.” Not very exciting is it? Copying someone else’s life is not actually going to help you find your own story.
Certainly, if someone is doing something that is along the same lines as your goal, you can use their journey as a roadmap to get started. We all need to find a place to start that is not overwhelming and easy to follow. A roadmap or guideline can help you get going and keep you focused for a while. Ultimately you need to adjust things until you figure out what works for you.
Maybe you have a friend that is making a decent amount of supplemental income selling a product on Facebook. Maybe you join their team to try it out. It might be a great place to get started and figure out how to network and sell products. But, maybe you decide you would rather sell your own products. Maybe you want your own business. It’s okay to learn from other people and try things.
Eventually, you have to find your passion and follow it. If you are not enjoying selling products to people then maybe it is not the job for you. Again we don’t need to judge people that do. If you don’t like it, unfollow them or just keep scrolling. Too easy!
The point is you need to find what will work for you. What you are passionate about. If it is not something you enjoy doing then it is not worth your time! Pause for a minute because I’m sure people will disagree with that one. If you don’t like what you do for work, you are in the wrong job. I’m not saying go quit, but maybe start taking an online course for something you have always wanted to try. Apply for jobs that sound like something you will enjoy. You don’t have to stay where you are if you hate it.
If you hate working out and eating healthy then join 50% of the world’s population. But ya know what? Once you get started you will probably start to enjoy it. Maybe you don’t love working out. It will get easier, but you will appreciate the mood boost you get after a workout. Maybe you appreciate the energy you have all day long because you sleep better after eating better foods. The point is it will make you happy because the effort is worth the time you are putting into it but you would never know that unless you try.
If you hate running then try Zumba. Do you hate cardio entirely? Then try lifting. If you don’t like eating all organic clean foods then try Weight Watchers. Don’t stop trying to find something that will make you happy and still able to pursue your goals. Don’t settle just because someone else is doing it differently. Find what works for you.
4. You Can Become Fearful of Failure
Maybe You see someone that is way farther along on their journey and you think “wow I will never make it that far!” Well, certainly not with that attitude, and probably not tomorrow. Most people did not get to where they are in life in a day. Someone has a huge company they started themselves with a chain or 4 coffee houses. Maybe that’s your dream! You need to stop being afraid because someone else is farther ahead of you.
Start small. Stop being afraid and just go for it. Rent a space and start a coffee shop. One where you can figure out your customer base and what you want to be known for. Maybe that is too big for you. Start applying to work in a coffee shop. Learn the ins and outs of the business, work your way up to management and learn some more. Save your money and make a business plan. Things do not always happen quickly, but you can always start and push for your dream whether someone else has done it or not. You are not a failure because you are simply on a different point in your journey. You have already failed if you never try because you are simply afraid of not measuring up to someone else.
Maybe you could try finding the person you are using to compare yourself against and try to make them your mentor. Message them on social media! Let them know you appreciate the business they have grown and what they have accomplished! Ask for advice on how to get started or what pitfalls to avoid. Stop being afraid and start considering people as resources. Also, remember that everyone is a person. Just because they may be better known does not mean you can’t talk to them.
How many successful people have written a book and have a podcast to try and share their story? So many! People want to share their advice with you because they had to learn the hard way and maybe they can help someone out. You are not a failure just because someone else has succeeded. Instead, learn and know that you can adjust along the way.
5. Stop Being Discouraged and Start Being Motivated
This always comes after the fear we just talked about. Instead of feeling motivated by someone’s success, you feel discouraged. “Well it’s already been done” or even “I will never be on that level.” This is not about your fear. This is simply you not recognizing that you are an awesome individual. Maybe someone has done the exact same thing you were dreaming of and you feel like it’s too late. Do you know what they don’t have? They don’t have your story, and they certainly don’t have your perspective. Stop getting discouraged by other people. If you have an idea just shoot for it! If someone else is doing it and have had wild success, it just means there is a good market for it!
Learn to find motivation in other people’s success instead of being discouraged by their progress. You need to learn to look inside of yourself and find your strength. Be proud of yourself and how far you have come. We find support, encouragement, and motivation from others and the community. It does not need to become a source of anxiety or stress to know that you are not alone. Instead, you can help each other, learn, grow and keep pushing through.
The Double Edged Sword
It’s pretty grey guys. Nothing is black and white. Having examples and success stories can be a great inspiration and a big help to you. But, if you let it, it will also hold you back. You can let yourself become fearful. Maybe you talk yourself out of pursuing a dream. You can compare yourself to someone else until the cows come home, but the truth is nobody is the same. You need to find your path, your dream and just go for it no matter what.
Stop watching what other people are doing and assuming that your journey is less important or significant. You do you and stop worrying about other people’s success or progress.