So you’re the one who is lagging behind the rest of your friends. They are getting ahead in life while you are sitting still. Or even worse, moving backward.
I’ve been there and know how bad it feels. You feel like the loser of the group who is dragging the others down. But this may not actually be true. And believe it or not, there is a lot of good that comes from being in this situation. It’s really not as bad of a deal as it seems at first.
After all, you do have a group of good friends who have figured out the game and achieved their goals. Not everyone has friends like this. I know that it can be demoralizing to see your friends on top of their game and feel like you are the only one that isn’t on track. Judging others’ success compared to your own is a surefire route to low self-esteem.
Self-pity won’t do anything helpful for you anyway so read on and maybe I can change the way you are looking at the situation. Maybe flipping your mindset on this issue will let you see the silver lining that is right in front of you. When I was at a low point and realized that all my friends were more successful than me, it was a hit to my already battered ego. But once I managed to get over that, I was able to build myself back up and be successful too. You can do the same and achieve great things too.
Here are a few points that helped me realize that being behind wasn’t all bad.
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Your friends are a great resource and have connections
Depending on what your interests are and what professions or businesses your friends are in, you can get a ton of guidance from them. They could help get you started in a new field with a new job or they may be able to pass on some good job leads.
Don’t forget that you have a lot of resources available if only you would ask. They may also be able to help with technical issues as well as to provide moral support and encouragement for your goals. It’s like having a champion in your corner rooting for you. You may not have the same salary or title, but having someone willing to help you out is priceless.
Successful people have contacts who are also successful. This is one of the often neglected perks of doing well in life. With some help from your friends, you can have access to these contacts too. You don’t want to be pushy and needy but asking for some help to get started is a smart move and will save potentially years of wasted time. Trying to do everything on your own is foolish and inefficient. Don’t be a leech on the friendship but do ask for some help when you need it. Asking for a hand is different than asking for a handout. Show that you are willing to work hard to prove your worth and they will be more willing to invest in you.
They are your real friends. And as close friends, they want to see you be successful too. You have to handle the brunt of the work but if with their help, you make it much faster and easier. With their guidance and the connections they have, you won’t be on your own. You can achieve good things quickly when you have an experienced guide to help you out.
Right now, it may feel like everything is going against you and that everyone else has some kind of advantage over you. I get that feeling of being behind in life and feeling jealousy toward my more successful friends. But it doesn’t do any good to feel sorry for yourself. This is a weak and needy mindset and will hold you back. Just walking up to your friends and asking them for help shows how strong you really are. A stronger person is able to accept the help gratefully and then put the help to good use.
But what if your friends don’t have any useful contacts for you? Or what if you aren’t interested in their line of work? Or for whatever other reason, this approach won’t work.
That’s okay because…
Successful people know how to be successful
Assuming your friends didn’t all win the lottery or inherit their money from rich relatives, they had to work to get to where they are. People who become successful have to go through a lot of problems and setbacks along the way. The knowledge they gained from going through that is knowledge that they can share with you.
Asking them about their mistakes and how they overcame those problems will give you insight into the hard work and determination it takes to get ahead. This saves you the time of having to learn all this yourself through trial and error.
A little bit of wisdom is sometimes all you need to get past the major barriers in your life. You may find that what you are going through isn’t as difficult or problematic after speaking with them about their experiences. It’s amazing how the right words can give you a new perspective and help you find your way.
Don’t underestimate how powerful it is to have a mentor. How much would it be worth to you to have someone who has already been through the struggles of trying to get ahead? What if they were able to help you avoid many of the mistakes that normally happen on the path to success? That could be invaluable information.
Even if they don’t have the time or interest to be a mentor, they can still share ideas and guidance with you. Pure mentoring isn’t for everyone so don’t expect this unless your friend offers it. It is time-consuming and a lot of work for them to take on.
But asking for some guidance and knowledge is a much easier request for them to fulfill. It’s very common for successful men to help others with their own journey. Guys pass down what they know to younger guys as a way of keeping the next generation going. It is the same with friends. Many highly successful men derive a great deal of happiness from being able to help young people better themselves.
People usually don’t mind sharing their wisdom and experience with someone who is genuinely interested in listening. You can benefit from what they learned first-hand and make your journey a lot smoother.
But, let’s say that mentoring/guidance from a friend isn’t an option either. Are we doomed to mediocrity? Not at all.
Just being around successful people is a good thing
Do you know that idiom about a rising tide raising all boats? It’s true about people too. If you are spending time around people who are all doing better than you, this can influence you to rise to their level.
There’s something to be said for the power of social osmosis. If you are around people who are doing better than you, it can fuel the desire to be as successful as they are. People are highly influenced by the company they keep. Just spending time around accomplished people can diminish the thoughts of inferiority that can creep into your mind.
It’s not always obvious ways that this happens but it does happen nonetheless. Perhaps your brain picks up on their confidence and body language, then works to mimic these traits. Or maybe you pick up new vocabulary and business knowledge just from listening to them speak. By spending more time around your friends, you will pick up on patterns of thought and actions. These new useful thought patterns can replace old negative thoughts that slow your progress.
The bottom line is that just your presence around successful people can influence you to become more successful. Because of this, it’s beneficial to be great friends with them even if they are more successful than you right now.
This is essentially the same thing as looking up to someone who does better in life than you do and trying to emulate them. It’s probably why so many people find it helpful to watch self-improvement videos.
But all my friends are more successful than me and they won’t help me at all!
Okay. So if your friends are completely unwilling to help in any way, are you screwed? Of course not.
The ideas mentioned earlier in the article should absolutely be used if at all possible but there are other ways to be successful even if your friends won’t help. (Are they really even your friends then?)
You need to figure out why you aren’t as successful as you want to be. What is hindering you? Are you just being lazy or is there a legitimate reason that you haven’t done better?
It’s very possible that the problem is simple to fix. Not necessarily easy, but simple.
People have found ways to succeed despite starting in the worst conditions. Lincoln was born into poverty and had little education, yet he became president of the USA. No one would envy the situation he started from. He didn’t let his situation dictate his success.
He (and many others) succeeded despite all the obstacles they faced. These are not unusual stories either; there are many more like them if you look for them. The point is that it is possible for you to be successful with the proper wisdom and work ethic.
Which is the problem then? Do you know know what you need to do? Or are you unwilling to put in the work needed for success?
Either way, it’s critical now to figure out what’s holding you back and handle it. Do some self-reflection and think seriously about what you need to do.
You have the sea of information that is the Internet and millions of people online who you can speak with and learn from. You have libraries full of books about success. You have this website with tons of articles about being successful as a man. Use these sources of information to help you fix the issue holding you back.
Making excuses will not help. If you want to be successful, you need to take responsibility for your life and make the necessary changes.
You can do it. If many others have succeeded in far worse conditions than you, then there is no reason why you can’t either. The only thing standing between you and success is you.