Have you ever felt like every single person in the world is doing better than you? Like you’re stuck in a rut with no idea how to escape? I’ve had times when I felt like this too and it is soul-crushing. This kind of thinking can wear away at self-esteem and leave you feeling worthless.
The good news is that it simply isn’t true. It’s not even possible for this to be true. And if you’re honest with yourself, you know that you do have worth. But it can still feel true even if we logically know otherwise. Once we bring the logic and psychology of the situation forward we can start to understand why our thinking is distorted. Then we can give our situation an honest look and chip away at the negative self-talk that damages our self-image.
I’m going to tell you how I was able to change this negative thought pattern and develop a more positive and useful mindset. Let’s start at the beginning and figure out where these thoughts come from.
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Why do I think everyone is better than me?
I used to think everyone was better than me because I felt like everything I did had to be perfect. It wasn’t enough for me to get up and do a quick workout or write an article. My workouts had to be over an hour and I had to push myself as hard as possible in order to feel like I did enough. And my work had to be absolutely perfect or I would feel frustrated with myself for falling short. The problem is that this is not sustainable. This perfectionism was holding me back.
And it wasn’t just affecting me physically and mentally, but also socially. I felt like I couldn’t just go out and have a good time because that didn’t feel productive enough, so instead, I would overwork myself and still feel the same when my work didn’t meet my ridiculous standards.
I would skip workouts because I didn’t have the energy to do a soul-crushingly difficult workout. It would have been smarter to stick to a workout plan that I could do consistently. This is what I do now.
And I would procrastinate writing because I didn’t think I could write perfectly enough. Again, this is the wrong way to think about it.
The problem was thinking that everyone else was doing the extreme workouts and writing perfectly. This simply isn’t true. Most people are just average. This was the misconception I held which made me think that my efforts were not good enough.
But this is all wrong thinking. It was my perspective that needed to change.
I would only look at the outliers and assume that they were representative of an entire population. They are the extremes which means that there are more people in the middle than on either side of it.
This can apply to other areas of your life too. In dating, you might think that you don’t compare to other guys for any number of reasons. Lots of guys worry about their income, physical looks, height, weight, complexion, and any number of other “problems.”
The truth is that this stuff doesn’t matter nearly as much as you think it does. Short guys get dates. So do overweight guys and guys who aren’t models. Many women don’t care about these things nearly as much as you do.
People are not as different as you think they are. There are more similarities than differences. There is an incredible amount of overlap between most people.
You just need to look at the outliers instead of fixating on them. You’ll find that most people are actually closer to the average than you think they are. Even if there is some truth in what you believe, it’s far less extreme than you think it is.
Once you realize that you are not really that much different from most people, then you’ll feel better about yourself. You will be more confident in your abilities and less likely to compare yourself with others. This will give you the confidence to pursue your goals without worrying so much about what other people think. And when you do compare yourself to others, you’ll be able to do so in a productive way that will not affect how you feel about yourself.
You just need to break the habit of seeing the extreme outliers and comparing them with your actions. Also, realize that most people are closer to each other than they are different.
How to readjust your thinking
Here are 3 practical ways to readjust your thinking:
1. Remember that most regular people don’t strive for perfection. They accept being average as good enough. Most guys don’t make the conscious decision to improve themselves. Their standards are far lower than yours. If you can stop pressuring yourself as hard and stop trying to do everything perfectly, your work will feel much more enjoyable. Perfectionism will take a toll on your mentality and it can spiral into feeling like nothing you do will ever be good enough.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your goal is to be the very best version of yourself, not the comparison-driven shadow of all other guys. If you form a good plan and stick to it, you will be growing into the best version of yourself at a sustainable pace.
3. Learn how to accept failure and learn from mistakes. Remember, everyone fails and makes mistakes. You can’t let this frustration linger because it will tempt you to stop trying. Everyone has flaws and imperfections. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t as good as the other guys. They fail too. You just don’t see it.
I feel like everyone has a better life than me
One reason that this thought is becoming more common is because of social media. Everything you see on Facebook and Instagram is curated to show people in the best light. Do you think that pretty girls take the perfect picture every time and post it straight to their account? No way. They take several photos and choose the best one to show the world. And there are probably filters being used too. It isn’t real life.
Same thing with guys. They post about their accomplishments and the exciting parts of their life to give the illusion of superiority. What you don’t see is the struggle. You don’t see the failures and effort that went into creating those cherished wins that they post on social media. You don’t see all the workouts and meticulous diet that goes into making the body for their photos. You see a snapshot of their life.
Seeing these carefully chosen images can make you feel inadequate and induce jealousy because their life seems so perfect. But it’s not that clear-cut. These people have failed many times and experienced lots of pain and setbacks.
Do you know why they don’t post about it? Because they want to put out their best image. They want you to believe that they’ve got it all together and that things are perfect in their life too. You don’t see the messy side of them.
Stop comparing your everyday life to the snapshots of their life.
Nobody has it all together all the time. Everyone stumbles and falls — even those you idolize. They have insecurity at times too. You just need to keep pushing forward so that one day you’ll be where they are now. You’ve got the potential, but it’s going to take time for you to get there.
You are better than you think
Once you understand the truth about everyone else, you see that you were comparing your true self to the false, skewed version of them that you imagined. You can stop being a prisoner of your own mind and remove your self-doubt once you see this clearly. Your efforts and work are good enough.
The thing that is holding you back from success is your tainted, limited point of view. It was your mindset that was holding you back, not reality. These negative thoughts are formed by bad processes. Luckily, these negative thoughts can be destroyed by seeing the true picture.
As long as you set good goals and work to meet them consistently, you will continue to improve yourself. Don’t let the occasional setbacks and failures hurt your confidence. A goal worth pursuing will be challenging and you will sometimes fall short. This is not a problem at all. All the best people fall short at times. It is inevitable when you set challenging goals.
You eventually overcome all obstacles if you persevere and are willing to shift when it is necessary.
You are good enough
Your worth and value as a person doesn’t depend on being the very best. You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need anyone’s approval outside of yourself. Don’t let fear drive your decisions, but instead let courage and a desire to achieve your dreams drive you.
When you have realistic goals with a plan on how to reach those goals, you will be amazed at how capable and effective you become. Life becomes easier and more enjoyable when your mind isn’t constantly creating drama by dwelling on the idea that you aren’t good enough yet.
You have a bright future ahead of you, so why not start living it? Why not start being more confident about who you are today? You are good enough. Keep working and you will be great.