As soon as you read that headline – what was your answer? Did a YES or NO automatically pop into your head?
Does other people’s success make you feel bad about yourself?
This can be a tough question to ask ourselves.
Perhaps your answer wasn’t that simplistic. Maybe an actual scenario popped into your mind. Something like – ‘I didn’t feel as happy as I should have when such and such get married’.
Whether we like to admit it, sometimes we do feel bad (or sad or perhaps even angry) when we hear about someone else’s success.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons we might feel bad about other people’s success (and most importantly what we can do about it).
Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Any compensation I may receive does not affect the price you pay.
Fear of being left behind
A friend gets married or has a child, then another, then another and though we are happy for them we have this niggling feeling of being left behind.
Our friend gets a promotion and a substantial pay rise and suddenly we worry that we won’t have the money to live the same sort of lifestyle as them.
Related post – Are You Feeling Left Behind?
Fear of missing out
This one sort of speaks for itself. Everyone has the latest iPhone and you want one.
Your friends are off on holiday and you are stuck at home.
Fear of our lives changing
We worry that our friend getting married or having a baby is going to change things.
You know what – it probably will and that is okay. (More below to help with this one).
It should be me
I’ll use myself as an example for this one. One of my ex-boyfriends went on to travel the world after we broke up. Loving travel the way I do, all I could think was that should be me. I should be the one gallivanting around the world.
It felt like he was living the life I wanted.
Related post – How to Overcome Feelings of That Should Have Been Me
Lack of abundance
I know single people can sometimes feel this way when someone gets engaged or married. The thinking goes something like this – there’s another person off the market, leaving less for the rest of us.
This feeling is fueled by a belief in a lack of abundance. It means we believe there isn’t enough to go around and someone just got something that might have come our way.
Jealousy and envy
In a nutshell, we want what someone else is having. We want their success, their lifestyle, their looks, their money, or their love life (hell sometimes it’s all of the above).
We look at their lives and feel discontent with our own. We feel resentful that they have so much and we perceive that we have so little.
Did any of these ring a bell?
If they did don’t feel bad, we all have our moments.
Let’s take a look at how we can make those moments a bit easier or have them happen a lot less often (or preferably not at all).
Work on your self-esteem
Most of the situations above can mean that we are feeling vulnerable and need to work on our self-esteem.
We often feel these emotions when we are going through a challenging situation, a time of transition, or hardship.
Our partner leaves us when our best friend is getting married. We get laid off from work as our spouse is receiving a promotion.
There’s no explanation for this, it’s just life and it happens to everyone which means when something wonderful is happening to you, someone else is going through a change of some kind. It’s the big old roller coaster of life with all its joy, triumphs, and struggles.
I know life’s roller coaster can sometimes make us feel like puking, rather than throwing our arms up in the air with glee – but imagine if life never changed at all – ever. It would be pretty damn boring and dull.
Feeling vulnerable is when we most need to be kind to ourselves. We need to remember just how wonderful we truly are.
Believe in yourself (despite the setbacks that come your way). Know your worth and believe that you are in control of your life. Believe that you are capable of making success happen.
Need help with getting your seld-doubt under control? Take the How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt course by the amazing Mel Robbins over at CreativeLive. I’ve completed this course myself and got so much out of it. Read my course review post to see how it can benefit you.
Be grateful for what you do have
Often in our rush to envy someone else’s success, possessions, or even luck we totally overlook our own.
The best way to fix this is with gratitude. Take a closer look at what you do have and at the level of success you have already achieved.
We always have a lot more than we realize. Remind yourself of your blessings regularly (daily is good/twice daily is even better) and you will feel more fulfilled. Use a gratitude journal regularly and watch your happiness improve.
Start with the people who you love and adore and that is bound to put a smile on your face.
An excellent way to express your gratitude is by using a gratitude journal. Choose from one of the excellent gratitude journals below –
- Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude by Pretty Simple Press
- Gratitude Journal Notebook: Daily Gratitude Self-Care Affirmations by Sweet Gratitude
- The One-Minute Gratitude Journal by Brenda Nathan
Focus on achieving your own goals
Often we feel left out, jealous, or envious because we aren’t progressing in our own lives (or we are being hard on ourselves and just think we are not progressing – which is often the case).
If you want to stop feeling bad, sad, or angry about someone else’s life – get your focus back where it belongs – back on your own life.
I don’t mean this in some ego-driven/I’m better than anyone else way. I mean it in a go out and chase your own goals and kick some butt kind of way!
While we’re talking about going after what we want – don’t panic or feel pressured if you don’t know exactly what you want. That’s perfectly okay. You can work that out – you don’t need all of the answers right this second.
With social media constantly exposing us to what everyone else is doing, we get distracted from what we want to be doing.
I know we love our smartphones but it’s important to take time out from them as well. Plan breaks from social media. I’m not saying give it up for a week (though for some people that might be a good idea). I’m suggesting taking an afternoon off from reading updates.
Give yourself some digital downtime to recharge and reflect.
Use jealousy as inspiration
I occasionally feel envious of other bloggers and online business owners. I see how well they are doing and how much further along in their businesses they are.
I get bent out of shape asking – why isn’t that happening for me?
Then I realized the reason is that successful bloggers are busy producing cool stuff and not worrying about what everyone else is doing. They are getting shit done (which translates to getting stuff finished and out into the world). That’s pretty much the time I get back to work!
There are situations where envy and jealousy can be used for good.
Turn your jealousy into inspiration.
This is where we can use the people who have gone before us and succeeded as role models. Successful people are a wonderful chance to learn, improve, and grow.
Of course, this doesn’t mean copying anyone or trying to be someone you are not. What it does mean is learning from the steps successful people have taken. It means studying their wins and learning from their mistakes. The great part here is that most bloggers write about this anyway, so it’s a great opportunity to learn from them to achieve your own version of success.
Another example here can be relationships and no I don’t recommend that you go out and poach someone else’s partner because you want them for yourself!
What you can do is take a close look at a relationship that you know is working, do some self-reflection on what sort of relationship you want, and then start working towards finding the right person for you.
A caveat here – make sure that the person you model is actually successful (or at least the version of success you are seeking) and not just pretending to be. Pick your role models wisely.
Related post – 10 Ways to Use Jealousy to Your Advantage
Celebrate other people’s success
Don’t be intimidated by other people’s success – instead, celebrate and shout it from the rooftops.
Celebrate their success because you love or respect them. Celebrate it by sharing the love, whether that be with compliments, praise, support, referrals or just being their number one cheerleader.
One it’s a lovely thing to do for another human soul. Two it will make you feel good. Three it will bring positive energy back in your direction for when you get your opportunity to shine.
Get comfortable with change
I know, I know this can be hard!
Here’s the thing – pushing back against change just makes it harder.
The more you push back the more difficult it gets.
It takes a lot of energy to fight against change and let’s face it your energy is precious. Better to get with the program and channel your time and energy into something that matters to you instead of trying to fight change.
Change often gets a bit of a raw deal because we tend to see it as a negative thing. We need to remember that change is all about opportunities. It can mean fabulous opportunities that would never have happened otherwise.
Related post – How To Deal With Change In Your Life
Run your own race
We need to ditch our fear of being different.
Fear of being left behind, fear of missing out – it’s all based on the notion that we all need to do the same thing as everyone else.
Thinking we all need to follow a standard life template or all be the same doesn’t allow us to truly be ourselves. We spend far too much time trying to fit in. We waste too much energy trying to be like everyone else.
This is your race. Your life. This is your creativity, spontaneity, imagination, curiosity, exuberance, and magic.
Why would you want to trade that to be like everyone else?
Other people’s success
Embrace your life. Embrace who you truly are in all of its messy glory!
Find the joy in other people’s success. Find peace within yourself. When we are at peace with who we are we don’t begrudge other people’s success or happiness because we know there is enough love, happiness, and success to go around.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. It might be just what one of them needs to read today!
PS: Remember the story about being jealous of my ex because he was traveling? I saved like hell, got off the couch, and went out and experienced a chunk of our amazing world. Worked a charm!
Read Next – 10 Inspiring Ways to Do More of What Makes You Happy