Successful success: how to stop comparing yourself to others?

“I can’t stand happy people. I think happy people were specially invented to spoil our enjoyment of life.

It’s just that everything will work out and it will be good, as you will surely stumble upon another success story about another lucky person and immediately realize that everything in your life has again turned out completely differently from what it could have been.

You know, once, many years ago, I decided to check if the success stories that I constantly come across in the press are true? I took out my old journalistic ID and went to interview the heroes of success stories that I read over the past year and a half. Heroes did not mind.

The first I met with a man who created an extremely successful business from scratch. I will never forget this meeting. Everything I read about this man’s astounding entrepreneurial talent turned out to be absolutely true. But at the same time, after half an hour of conversation, it turned out that he had serious health problems, terrible relationships with children, and for the last couple of years he had been taking severe antidepressants. None of this has ever been mentioned in his success story.

And what’s amazing is that from one meeting to another this situation persistently repeated. An excellent teacher was deeply in debt – his success story was delicately silent about this. A woman who lost twenty kilograms in six months suffered from loneliness. A wonderful family man whom I met a year after I read an interview about his happiest family life, by the time we met was already at the epicenter of a difficult divorce. And the hero of the story of successful downshifting admitted to me that he had long been disappointed in downshifting, returned to civilization and happily work from dawn to dawn.

Success in life is a temporary and local concept. But success and success stories are not the same thing. First, a fiery journalistic pen cuts off all that is superfluous, then, the resulting design is poured with the concrete of the Internet, which forever protects it from any time influences. And as a result, success stories that are familiar to us arise – simple and unambiguous, convenient and consistent, pristine as synthetic heroin and ready for immediate use. Each area of ​​life has its own success story. I evaluate my business according to the success story of a successful businessman. Family – on the success story of a happy family man. Health is based on the success story of a healthy man who runs two marathons a week.

You know, it was a great discovery for me to understand that my ideal life, as I imagine it, and which I am trying to achieve, is, in fact, a rather strange formation – a kind of Frankenstein of happiness, made up of selected pieces of other people’s lives.

There is no perfect life. But we are persistently trying to create it, fitting every sphere of our life under the corresponding success story. We always compare the worst part of our lives with the best part of the life of the hero of another success story, and this is a game that inevitably leaves us loser.

You know, once I talked with a wonderful Tibetan llama. He told me an amazing thing that I remembered forever. He said: “In whatever area of life you have problems and difficulties, there will always be people who have no problems in this area. This does not mean that their life is perfect. This means that they have problems where you don’t have them. ”

Vladimir Yakovlev. Forbes Contributor

Instagram is like a vanity fair. When you look at other people’s successes, it often becomes somehow embarrassing for your modest achievements. We compare ourselves with others, and we do it dishonestly – we compare the worst that we know about ourselves, with the best that we think about others. If earlier the “base” for comparison was friends, colleagues, acquaintances, with the development of social networks we see the life of a huge number of other people. And this life is bright, saturated, cheerful and carefree.

“Do not compare yourself with others!” – this is just as valuable advice as, for example,
“Be yourself!” or “More confidence!”. Thanks, Cap.


I do not pretend to be the ultimate truth and these are not expert advice. Just share my experience and tell you what helps me not to lose my self-esteem and not to depreciate my own achievements.

1. Starting conditions are different for everyone.
Each of us is unique: different parents, origin, values, priorities, abilities.
The story of Cinderella, of course, is entertaining. And this image is exploited by many businessmen, coaches and bloggers. Storytelling “from rags to riches” comes with a bang, because “if he could, and I can.” People are ready to carry money, or continue to give their attention and raise their reach, if only they would be given a magic pill and told all the secrets. But no one will tell the truth. Often the success story is so far-fetched that from the real there is only a name and a year of birth.

The success is greatly affected by the environment, conditions, and a bunch of unforeseen circumstances. We often compare ourselves with others, but do not take into account all the conditions and opportunities that led to this person (and what it all cost in general and whether we need it at all).

I recommend the book “Geniuses and outsiders”, great sorts all things out.

2. More critical thinking.
Only the brightest positive moments are posted on social networks. Behind the scenes remains 90% + of life. And no matter how sincere and open a person may be, he still creates a certain image in the network. And trying to match it.
It is not customary to talk about one’s defeats, harms, weaknesses, difficulties in the professional field and in personal life. “Negativity is enough in life,” bloggers will tell you. And they keep silent that they are tired of wearing a mask, suffer from burnout, everything is bad in their personal lives, and they have been going to the therapist for a long time. All achievements in life have a price. Just because you weren’t told, doesn’t mean that everything was easy and simple.

3. To get rid of the habit of comparing yourself to others, first analyze what exactly triggers destructive thoughts. You need to define triggers. For example, you are particularly upset that the same mother on maternity leave managed to realize herself, earns no less than her husband and can afford what you only dream about.
Next, you need to deal with your thoughts, feelings and emotions. There are many solutions, but I like the three-step Burns method of thought analysis most of all. In short, the algorithm is as follows:

• Emotionally describe the situation that caused the negative emotions.
 Jane boasted her huge wardrobe and new iPhone
• Describe what emotions it caused you.
 Envy, anger, resentment
• Rate each emotion on a scale of 1 to 10
• Describe the thoughts that arise first.
 Well, yes, of course, she has nannies and grandmothers, and I’m all myself.
A lot of clothes, but to sense? No taste.
And what did her husband find attractive in her?
• Write a rationale for the situation.
Prior to maternity leave, Jane had 5 years of experience, this helped her to open a business now. I can send my child to kindergarten and go about my business, but I refused this because of 1) 2) 3).
I don’t have beautiful and comfortable clothes in which I feel 100% confident.
• How do I now feel the initial emotion on a scale of 1 to 10? The level of emotional stress should become lower.

If such analyzes are made a habit, the indicator “look, you are insignificant, and he is cool” will stop working.

4. Record your achievements.
We often discount what we do. Household little things take up most of the time, but it is from the heap of small tasks that then something big and valuable is obtained. Do not be discouraged if you could not invent the Hadron Collider or earn a million. Social networks cultivate maximalism in us – when you want everything at once. But this does not happen.
You have the ability to love, help others, serve a common cause. You have everything to do good in your own part of the world. Keep this opportunity in mind and remember about past successes – they will give motivation for new achievements.

5. Screw on social networks.
Out of sight of everyone who causes you to feel your own inferiority. More than once advised to clean subscriptions as much as possible. No need to “relax” in social networks – we already live in an era of informational noise. No need to overload the brain with hundreds of new photos, videos and other emotionally charged content. Exhale, relax, look around. No need to be successful. We must value and love ourselves right now, to do what brings true pleasure.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.