Revealed: Why You’re Not Where You Thought You’d Be by Now

Do you ever compare yourself to other people your age and feel like you don’t measure up?

Do you look at your life and think you should be “further along by now?

Do you know that this kind of thinking is precisely what is holding you back?

Why We Compare (and Why it Sucks)

Because you’re human, it’s natural to formulate opinions based on information you’ve accumulated up until the present moment. Everyone does it… We compare new people to people we know, like, dislike, trust and don’t trust. We compare products to other products, pricing, which store is better to buy from and why. We compare cities we’ve moved to against cities we’ve lived in previously.

It’s natural and necessary in certain situations… but NOT when it comes to your LIFE and who you are.

If you live in a state of constantly comparing your life, relationships, career and self to ANYBODY ELSE, you will never be able to fully appreciate what you have in the present for what it is. You will be stuck seeing what it is not, what it “could be” and, quite frankly, making yourself miserable.

How to Start Living in THIS Moment, As You Are

1) Know that who you are is PERFECT.

You are a unique and beautiful blend of personality, talent, skills and smarts.

When you spend all your time obsessing over how you measure up to the details that make someone else their unique and beautiful self, you fail to see your own beauty and effectively squash the very things that make you amazing. Along with the gifts YOU have to give to the world. Practice appreciating yourself for who you ARE, not who you are in comparison to someone else.

Your laugh is not better or worse than anyone else. It’s simply YOUR laugh. You are not ahead of, or behind, anyone else. You’re simply where you’re at, on YOUR journey. You have not failed, fallen behind or done things the wrong way. You’ve simply done things in your own way, on your own terms.

There is no right or wrong. You have the freedom to live your life however you choose.

2) Start living in the moment and seeing things as they are.

If you find that you’re constantly comparing yourself, you’re not spending enough time in the present moment. Instead, you’re indulging in negative self talk and missing out on your amazing life… the one that’s happening RIGHT NOW. This causes you to miss opportunities and experiences, perpetuating that feeling of being behind, or not where you’re supposed to be.

Engaging in your life, as it is now, knowing that you are PERFECT and exactly where you need to be, is essential to your happiness. When people and opportunities show up, you’ll be able to see them for what they are, without getting distracted by how they measure up to your past experiences, current relationships, fears, opinions or preferences. You’ll be able to do this because you’re present in this moment, seeing what is right in front of  you, completely detached from any negative mind chatter.

Cultivating this ability in your day to day interactions will allow you to turn that non-judgmental, open minded and loving eye on yourself and your own life.

3) Know that your comparisons are usually unfair.

When you compare yourself to someone else, you’re never making a fair comparison. Are you comparing your weaknesses to their strengths? Are you comparing your lifestyle to that of someone with more money or a completely different profession and background? How about this one… are you comparing yourself to someone with a different personality, skill set, passion and style?

The answer to that last one is, yes, you are. And that ALWAYS makes for an unfair comparison because it is impossible to fairly compare any two people that exist in this world.

Take action NOW!

Leave a comment below and share the number one way you’ve been comparing yourself to others, along with a reframed view of the situation. If you’re an artist who feels like your work is nowhere near as good as so-and-so, tell me why your art is unique and beautiful in it’s own right. If you’re not sure how to reframe, leave your comparison in the comments below and I’ll help you out!

As always, I love to hear from you, so please share any thoughts, insights or “aha” moments!

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

This entry was posted in LOVE Your Life

20 Responses to Revealed: Why You’re Not Where You Thought You’d Be by Now

  1. Bernardo says:

    Hi Steph,

    A good life comes down to your ability to live it on your own terms and part of enjoying what life has to offer is the ability to distance yourself from the urge to compare yourself to others. Some days its easier than others.

    This message is incredibly important and it is equally important to let go of any attachment to that need to have something that is outside of your current life even if it’s not through comparison.

    In other words, it does not mean you don’t want to have great things, it just means you don’t have to have them in order to feel full, complete and happy.

    Thank you for a great reminder and powerful message.
    Love you my friend!

    -Bernardo

    • Hi Bernardo! Thank you for your comment and sharing your inspiring thoughts. :) I loved this:

      “In other words, it does not mean you don’t want to have great things, it just means you don’t have to have them in order to feel full, complete and happy.”

      So true. Lots of love to you! xo

  2. marie kolota says:

    Your posts are always right on! Thank you Steph!

  3. Stephenie, this is another lovely post. This is all so very well said. I especially loved this line: “When you spend all your time obsessing over how you measure up to the details that make someone else their unique and beautiful self, you fail to see your own beauty and effectively squash the very things that make you amazing.”

    This is a great topic. I think what is especially juicy about it is that when we surround ourselves with people who are succeeding in the way we want to be succeeding, it’s a lot easier to feel inadequate.

    To respond to your call to action, I am a coach and Enneagram teacher. I compare myself to coaches who have clearly articulated their work (whether as a life coach, executive coach, health coach, etc.), to other Enneagram teachers teaching classes around the globe, and to solopreneurs who have strong offerings and enticing marketing copy. I love to see the work of those who inspire me and sometimes I spend so much time consuming others’ information that it is easy to forget what makes me unique.

    As for your reframe suggestion, I have had clients tell me that my ability to bring intellect and heart together is one of my strengths. My background and training is in evidence-based coaching, organizational development, and law. I was drawn to the Enneagram for its particular ability to help us better understand ourselves and others and our path of growth. I bring coaching and the Enneagram together in a unique way although my ability to articulate it is still evolving. Love to hear what you think and what suggestions you have for me.

    • Love this Laurie:

      “I bring coaching and the Enneagram together in a unique way although my ability to articulate it is still evolving.”

      As you spend more time sharing what it is you do with others, you will find the right words to articulate what it is that you do. You can also speak to the results that you provide, rather than the method.

      As for surrounding yourself with people succeeding in the way that you want for yourself, that’s awesome! It’s incredibly important to remember that they were once exactly where you are. Figuring out how to articulate what they do, starting their business AND feeling inadequate compared to those who were more successful than them. This is part of the journey! Lots of love! xo

  4. Rasheed says:

    Very very insightful. We live in the age of opportunity. There is no excuse to not living the life you desire. Yet, if one looks for that excuse, he will find it.

    Even college students can achieve greater success than any Ph.D, if they merely apply themselves.

    We are exactly where we need to be to go where we want to go. I think Brian Tracy said that once :)

    • Thanks for the comment Rasheed! Loved this part:

      “Even college students can achieve greater success than any Ph.D, if they merely apply themselves.”

      SO TRUE! Times definitely are changing and there are no excuses anymore! Hope you’re having a great week! :) xo

  5. The third point is so spot on, makes so much sense!

    Another great post, thanks for being perfectly you steph :)

  6. Yvette says:

    Wow, powerful post!! Thanks you for the reminder, you can accomplish so much more when you stop looking at what everybody else is doing.

  7. jean says:

    Wow. Great post, Stephenie! I liked these lines…

    ‘You have not failed, fallen behind or done things the wrong way. You’ve simply done things in your own way, on your own terms.’

    ‘This causes you to miss opportunities and experiences, perpetuating that feeling of being behind, or not where you’re supposed to be.’

    and

    ‘Are you comparing your weaknesses to their strengths?’

    I can relate to all of these sentences…and I especially like the second one. When we’re so busy making comparisons we can miss being open to our OWN opportunities!
    xo

  8. Johnny says:

    Thanks Steph – I’ve been following some guru’s in my industry and totally feeling overwhelmed at what they’ve accomplished compared to what I have not. Then I feel so overwhelmed at the idea of getting there that I freeze and don’t do anything. The reality is that I have succesed and the next step will be a success too. I just need to start.

    • Hi John! *wave* Just remember, they got to where they are now by taking one step at a time, staying focused and taking ACTION! You have absolutely succeeded! You’re doing amazing things and you WILL get there too! xo

  9. Steph, great post my friend. AND #3…yep, this is right on for me. I get into that trap and then feel defeated, stuck…thinking how I can I move forward if she already has this done, or did that, etc…AND what a good question to ask, “Does she have a different personality, homelife, etc… than me?” of course! We are all perfect…thanks for this Steph! xo

    • Yes Lisa! You have your own unique and beautiful personality and style. :) You’re going to do amazing things in your own way (and you already are woman!) and make such an impact in others’ lives. Keep being YOU and only you, because you rock! xo

  10. Ashley says:

    Thanks for synthesizing this topic into an amazing post that I can refer to as needed!

    Like you said, it really does take practice. I’m embracing the idea that society does NOT dictate what is right or wrong for ME. Only I can do this.

    I agree that the comparisons we make are often unfair. Last week, I was comparing myself to a friend who recently became a lawyer. At one point in my distant, distant past, I had considered this for myself. I had also been told I would be a good one by a teacher and family.

    But the idea of being a lawyer, doesn’t resonate. It doesn’t give me that excited, giddy feeling. So I chose to do something else. And then something else after that lol. But, by saying no to things that don’t feel right, I’m making room for the things that do.

    There’s something beautiful about knowing that you’re living life on your terms and that you love yourself enough to stay true to what feels right for YOU.

    Thank you for the uh-mazing support Stephenie!

  11. Elaina says:

    What an amazing post. Your really hit the nail on the head here. I have found that I have spent the past 25 years of my life constantly comparing and NEVER measuring up. It has made me consistently unhappy throughout my life. Only until recently did I ever stop to think that maybe this is not the right way to consider myself and maybe I should just focus on what it is that I’M doing and need instead of what everyone else is doing. I love that you wrote this if for no other reason than to shed light on something that is really so common and yet so little discussed. Thank you for putting this concept so perfectly into words :)

    • Elaina, YES! Always stay focused on yourself and what you’re creating in your own life. It’s near impossible to see the amazing things we have accomplished ourselves when we’re busy comparing were we’re not instead. Lots of love to you! xo

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Not only did Stephenie help pinpoint my passions, but she also helped me get started on creating my business. I now know what my passions and purpose are in life and am excited to continue on this path. I have the clarity I so desired before I started this journey. I feel free because I have a deeper sense of self and purpose. — Adlin Cedeno