This blog post reveals what Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s suicide teaches you about comparing yourself to successful people. And you’ll learn 5 small steps you can take to stop feeling behind when you compare yourself to others.
Though sadly thousands of people commit suicide every year, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s ending made international news.
For one reason.
Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade (much like Robin Williams) aren’t the “type” of people you imagine would commit suicide.
From the outside, they look like they have it all. A fabulous career, someone they love, healthy children, they get to travel, they teach us things … they are just downright awesome people.
And yet, even though from the outside their lives looks beautifully lit, we can’t see or comprehend how dark, cold and unbearable it feels to live as them.
And it makes me wonder, how many times have you looked at someone else’s life and compared yourself to them?
When you compare yourself to someone you believe is successful, all sorts of emotions can come up.
Sometimes comparisons inspire you to work harder and be better. But sometimes it reminds you that you feel like you’re falling behind… like you haven’t been so lucky in life, you haven’t made the best choices and you’re not as much of an expert as others.
Problem is, when you feel like you’re not doing as well as you hoped, you’re at risk of rarely feeling good enough, rarely feeling you have enough, rarely believing you are enough and continuously doubting yourself to the point you never agree to do things you don’t have the confidence to do.
Question is… how do you stop feeling like you’re behind? How do you stop feeling worse when you compare yourself to successful people?
In this blog post, I’m going to share 5 steps you can take to stop feeling worse when you compare yourself to successful people.
STEP 1 – Record and challenge yourself to break your personal best
In a world where there are gold, silver and bronze winners, people who come last, folks who get certain jobs and earn certain incomes and people who don’t… it can be easy to compare yourself to others.
Truth is, comparing yourself to successful people gets you nowhere. At best, it feeds your ego and makes you overestimate yourself. And at worst, it crushes your ego and makes you underestimate yourself.
Every successful athlete knows this. Comparison only leads to distraction.
That’s why instead of training against someone else’s records, the only thing athletes and their coaches work towards, is breaking their PB (personal best).
Because they know when you beat your personal best, you’re stronger than ever and you’ve achieved something you may never have thought was possible.
And the only way you can become the best at what you do and remain a leader is to be self motivated to keep beating you personal best.
STEP 2 – Read a book that helps you love and accept yourself
One of the reasons we compare ourselves to others is that we judge. We judge people for their actions, their behaviours, how they lead, what they wear, what they said, what they do and how they live. We judge everything about them.
Except, what we often forget is the judgements we have about everyone else, reflect the judgements we have about ourselves too. And often, we are our worst critics and are more judgemental about ourselves, than we are of everyone else.
This is what makes us feel inadequate.
If you want to stop feeling worse when you compare yourself to successful people, learn to love and accept everything about yourself.
To do this requires you to stop judging other people, so you can stop judging yourself. By loving and accepting everyone for who they are, flaws and all, it becomes easier to accept yourself.
My favourite book for helping you do this is, Gabrielle Bernstein’s Judgement Detox. It’s the go to book for letting go of your judgements and finally allowing yourself, to love and accept every single thing about you.
STEP 3 – Create a routine that doesn’t allow for comparison
Many things trigger us to judge or compare ourselves to others. One of best things you can do for your happiness and life is to remove those triggers.
Grab a journal, an Evernote or whatever it is you use to note things down. Throughout the day, notice what triggers you to compare yourself to others and write it down.
For example, social media is a huge trigger for me. Reading gossip columns gets me into the habit of being nosey and comparing myself to others. Watching one of my favourite TV talk show hosts (and the queen of judgement) Wendy Williams also makes me super judgey. Though I love social media and am a huge Wendy Williams fan, I’ve noticed I’m not very accepting or loving of others when I consume too much of this content.
After recognising this, I limited my social media use to once or twice a day. I’ve used the Blocksite app on my computer to block all gossip columns, and I unsubscribed to Wendy Williams. After doing this, I immediately felt less pressure, less of a desire to judge others and no longer habitually compared myself to anyone else.
I invite you to take action too. Think about the things you need to limit, delete, block or unsubscribe to no longer be triggered to compare yourself.
STEP 4 – Notice how far you’ve come
The key to feeling grateful for the life you have is to see how far you’ve come.
We often focus so much attention on our goals and how far behind we feel.
But as my husband so beautifully pointed out to me once, when you stop and see how far you’ve come, you’ll realise how well you really are doing. But if you don’t see how far you’ve come, you’ll think you haven’t moved at all and will feel more defeated.
So the next time you feel like you’re behind… ask yourself “How far have I come?”
Reflect on what you’ve learned, how you’ve changed, what new things you’ve achieved… and how much more you’ve accomplished today compared to six months ago or a year ago.
The more progress you recognise, the more confident you’ll feel.
STEP 5 – Ask for help when you get stuck
Last but not least, even if you do your best, there’ll be days when things don’t go the way you hoped. There’ll be days when you hurt… when you feel pain… when you doubt yourself. There may even be days when you want to give up on your career or other things in your life.
When this happens… ask for help. Work with an expert who solves the problems you have. Ask your partner for encouragement. Ask your friends for their guidance.
And of course, ask God or the universe for guidance.
I don’t know if you’re religious, a bit woo-woo or try to avoid spirituality … the point is lean into what you believe in the most, and ask for as much help as you can get.
Sometimes we try to get through things on our own. But that’s not how miracles happen. Miracles happen when people open doors you couldn’t open, when strings get pulled, when opportunities you didn’t know existed show up and when you trust someone knows more than you and can help you.
After everything I’ve been through, with a life threatening tumour and my need for a miracle surgery … I’ve learned miracles can happen… no matter how tough, dire or an impossible a situation feels. If you want to hear about that story, click here.
And that’s it!
I’d love to know what you think. What’s one thing that’s helped you to not compare yourself to successful people? Leave a comment below. My blog is read by thousands of readers and your comment could make a difference in someone else’s life.