How to Overcome Feeling Inadequate
I used to compare myself A LOT to others. But it wasn’t your usual straightforward comparisons like: “oh look, [insert name here] is doing what I should be doing. I said I was going to do it months ago, but still haven’t. I’m such a failure.”
No, you see my mind was clever so it would come up with all kinds of sneaky ways to trick me into comparing myself to others. However, the end result was always the same – I’d feel like I wasn’t enough which left me feeling stuck and unconfident.
Here are 3 ways I would compare myself to others ( and yes, I’ve even named them):
Comparison 101 – “_______ [insert name] is so much better than me.”
This is the classic and most recognisable case of comparison. You see what other people are doing and compare yourself to them.
This saddens and frustrates you. It makes you feel like you’re not good enough because you are not where you want to be and ‘it looks like’ they are. What you are really doing is comparing yourself to your perception of other people.
Yes, they may be further along than you, but you don’t know what they have been through to get there. So just focus on yourself.
Commentating from the sidelines – “Look at what_______ [insert name] is doing? She’s not even doing it right. She should be doing x, y and z.”
This is comparison disguised in its most self-righteous form and you judge other people for doing the exact thing you want to do.
You point out their mistakes, but you haven’t even started. How do you even know it all if you haven’t started?! While you are critiquing them, they have already taken the plunge and are getting better and better everyday.
It’s time for you to get in the game and stop watching from the sidelines.
You probably won’t get it right straightaway, but the more you do it, the better you get at it. And then boom, 6, 12, 18 months later, you are a pro.
Waiting for 32nd Neveruary – “I just want it to be perfect first.”
I believe this is the most common form of comparison and the reason why most people don’t ever start.
Women are especially vulnerable to the perfectionism trap.
You see people at the top of their game and set unrealistically high standards for yourself. So instead of starting where you are with what you have, you strive for perfection.
You think things need to be perfect because you are afraid of what other people will think or say if there are not. Let me let you into a little secret: things will never be perfect! And even if there are, someone (probably giving commentary from the sidelines) will have something to say about it.
Like Aristotle said “there is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
Now you can recognise some of the ways you may compare yourself to others, it’s time to do things differently and here’s how you can do it:
- Start small and know you have something valuable to offer.
- Stop comparing yourself to others and start being even more grateful for your journey and where you are right now.
- Stop giving commentary from the sidelines and start running your own race.
- Stop waiting for things to be perfect and just start right where you are today.
Comparison is the thief of joy. When you compare yourself to others, you will almost always feel like you’re not good enough. Instead, focus on simply being the best You you can be.
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