I found myself alone standing in a room surrounded with so many successful people. They had achieved so much in their own personal lives and in their business. Initially, I felt overwhelmed, inadequate and extremely out of place. What was I doing here? What business did I have associating with these people. This kind of thinking caused me to lose focus on my own goals, dreams and purpose. Negative thoughts were starting to consume me and I was feeling anxious, insecure, unimportant, and incapable of being successful.
Ever been in a situation like that – whether it be a business meeting, conference, luncheon, school reunion, shopping for an outfit, sporting event, kids school presentation, holidays, or even at a family function? The feeling like others are at a completely different stage of life or success than you? That you have nothing to offer? That they appear to be (or have) more? Let me assure you, you are definitely not alone.
Far to often we compare ourselves to others to measure whether or not we are succeeding in life. Are they in front of us or behind us? What are they doing better or worse than me? But what we don’t see are the hidden obstacles, struggles, setbacks or failed attempts they have already been through to get to where they are now. It might look as though they are doing it easy and life for them is great, and that may be the case. But at what cost?
Sometimes we are quick to judge people by their appearances and what is visible, not even considering what may be under the surface or the mask that they may be wearing. Likewise others often do not see the challenges you may have faced to get to where you are now. By comparing ourselves we can open ourselves up to a lot of negative feelings and emotions that are not healthy for us or for our journey.
Often past “experiences” can effect both the present and your future. Positive and negative experiences shape how we see and think of ourselves in any given situation especially when surrounded by other people. That being said, you either confidently navigate your way successfully through the situation or alternatively your thoughts and feelings sabotage and destroy what you wanted or hoped to achieve.
Years ago I had an epiphany regarding what I was doing in these situations and realised I had to ‘snap-out-of-it’ whenever I felt inferior of others. I had to retrain my thinking and actions to refocus back to what is important. Some days can be really hard to stay positive but I have to continue to remind myself of my value and worth and continue moving forward.
How to combat feeling inferior when surrounded by others in life:
It’s My Journey
Your goals and dreams won’t happen overnight so you need to pace yourself for the long haul. Confidently step out, even if you are not completely sure and cannot see where you are going, just start moving. Often the right path/ direction will reveal itself as you start to move forward.
Find Your Strengths
No one can live my life-journey but me. I was born with gifts, talents and hidden abilities…of which I have had to purposefully develop and continually grow to become the person that I am today. On many occasions I have had to go through hell and back to realise what I thought were my weaknesses were actually my strengths.
Focus on what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. Write it down and stick it on your desk, wall or fridge as a reminder so that when you get distracted or derailed, take a moment to breathe, refocus and get back on track.
Learn From Your Past
People often say when you are moving forward not to look back in your revision mirror (‘leave your past behind you’). I strongly believe that a revision mirror can still be useful for us if we use it for the right reasons. Your past made you who you are today. Looking into your revision mirror can be extremely encouraging to see how far you have travelled and this can inspire you when things get tough. A revision mirror makes people aware of any dangers that may come from behind them.
No matter what the challenges or obstacles that you are facing keep moving. Even if moving forward slows down or even knocks you down for some reason, that’s okay. Get up, remind yourself of what’s important and start moving forward again. Remember it’s not the goal that shapes us its the journey.
Be Your Own Cheerleader
Often life can be a very lonely road, similar with starting a business. There has been plenty of times during my life where I have found myself on my own with no one encouraging me or cheering me on. Due to the lack of support I took it upon myself to become my own cheerleader, to be proud of who I am and what I achieve. Celebrate your successes/wins and pat yourself on the back. If no-one else is there for you, be your own cheerleader. May sound silly, but look at yourself in the mirror (even with tears in your eyes) and remind yourself verbally of your worth, value and appreciate your uniqueness. Trust me, this encouragement you give yourself will help boost your mindset, your heart and self-esteem. You know that person in the mirror better than anyone.
A few words of encouragement to someone at the right time may just be what they need on their journey. We have all been overwhelmed at times and the words from a friend, family member, work colleague or even a stranger could be all we need to inspire us to achieve our goals.