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How to Stop Feeling Inferior When You Compare Yourself to Others

I had a good friend in college, and his brother was, like, the COOLEST guy ever.

He was smart, good-looking, and popular. When he walked into the room, he had an “aura” of complete confidence.

Me? I was struggling to hold a conversation.

But this guy made it look so easy!

Until…

I got to know him better.

Once I got a “behind the scenes” look I realized:

“WAIT A MINUTE. THIS GUY BARELY KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING!”

In other words, things were NOT what they seemed on the surface.

And that’s when I stopped comparing myself to other people.

Today, I want to tattoo “Unstoppable” on my forehead.

But back then, I used to think that I just didn’t “have what it takes” to be confident… funny… successful…

…but getting to know this guy completely changed my mindset.

“Comparisonitis” Got Me Stressed… But This Boiling Water Saved Me

What was my big aha-moment? I talk about it in this episode of Planet Derek – my daily vlog. Watch the video:

I don’t post all the vlogs here. So, If you like the video, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

But seriously.

What does a pot of boiling water have to do with comparing yourself to others? Well, it’s a German saying I heard recently. It sums up the problem of “Comparisonitis” perfectly…

The saying goes like this:

“Everyone’s boiling water.”

The idea is…

There are NO superhumans.

Okay, maybe Elon Musk…

But besides him, everyone has the same tools at their disposal.

Everyone is struggling in one way or the other.

Everyone puts their pants on, one leg at a time, so to speak.

Now…

Do different people have different talents?

Absolutely.

Are some people smarter than others? Or stronger? Or more good-looking?

Definitely.

But once you look behind to scenes, you’ll find that even the highest performers are still… just boiling the same water!

Just like you, they have to FIGURE STUFF OUT.

And it’s not always as easy as people will make it seem.

This is true in all areas of life:

It may LOOK easy when Steph Curry throws a three-pointer… But only because he’s done it 1000’s of times, practiced, and worked his ass off.

The same goes for every other top performer. Whether it’s in sports, art, business, or any other field you want to choose.

So let’s say you’re building a business:

If success were as easy as buying a lottery ticket…

#bitcoin? Screw that. Im going old school. Scratch off lottery tickets.

A post shared by Derek Halpern (@derekhalpern) on

…everyone would be doing it!

The truth?

Success is NOT quick, simple, or easy.

It’s not always exciting, either. Most of the time, it’s a real pain in the ass.

So what does this mean for you?

Here are THREE things you can do to stop feeling inferior when comparing yourself to others…

#1: Don’t compare your “behind the scenes” with other people’s “highlight reel”

Sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one still struggling, while everyone else’s has it all figured out, right?

Especially when you spend a lot of time online and on social media…

Well, here’s a shocker for you:

People lie on the internet.

The problem is:

When you constantly compare yourself to the best results of others, you start to feel inferior.

But is this really a fair comparison?

No, of course not.

So, when you read a case study or a “how I did it” blog post that makes everything sound simple and easy… take it with a grain of salt.

In reality, it’s never quite as simple, quick, or easy.

What people share online is their “highlight reel” – their BEST results.

They don’t share the missteps. They don’t share the failed attempts and the hard work that got them there. Now, I’m not sure where I heard this first, but the point is:

Don’t compare your “behind the scenes” to other people’s “highlight reel.”

This is part of the reason I’ve decided to share more behind the scenes myself.

Now, here’s another insight…

#2: Stop Looking for a “Silver Bullet”

How nice would it be if there was ONE thing you could do to solve all your problems?

Unfortunately, there are no “silver bullets.”

Or as Marc Andreessen puts it:

There are only lead bullets.

Success is built step by step, one piece at a time.

So, stop looking for that “silver bullet.” You’ll be looking for the rest of your life. Because just when you’ll think you’ve found it, you’ll face a new problem! Trust me…

It’s called leveling up – or just life.

So the only “one thing” you can do is…

#3: Do the Work

It’s great to learn from the success and failures of others. Read, watch and learn. But then you have to…

Just do the work.

It’s all you CAN do. So like everyone else…

Just boil the water!

How?

Well, picture a pot on the stove:

When you turn on the heat, it doesn’t boil instantly. It starts with a few small bubbles. But if you keep the heat on long enough, it WILL START TO BOIL.

This means staying focused and not stopping before you’re done.

And remember:

Don’t be fooled.

When someone shares their story, they’re showing you the highlight reel. So, expect things to be about 10x harder than they’re made to look.

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2 comments Leave a comment
Clove

Thanks For Sharing ..
Conclusion for me is
Be proud of yourself.
Look at the sides of yourself which you are already proud of. What did you do right? Where did you get complimented on?

From there you can easily find ways to focus on what is great about you and then build on top of it.

Nicolas Puegher

That’s right, the Steph Curry example is perfect. There is always a first time for everything and a time to learn. In the world of blogging, a lot of people compare their blogs to massive and successful blogs. It’s a good thing if you take notes to learn but if you do it for torturing yourself, there is no point.

Those people have learned how to be successful, people often forget the story behind it. Did they go from zero to success overnight? Did they have an easy time growing their business? No, of course not. They probably failed more than once and worked really hard but people see only their success. “They were lucky”, many people think but they created their own luck.

Going back to the Steph Curry example, that’s what he does for a living. He practices every single day, hours and hours. Same for bloggers, they do it for a living, they do it all day, constantly learning and trying new things.

There is a business quote I like, “There is no elevator for success, you have to take the stairs like everyone else”, which is right and very clear.

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