SerenDestiny #19: What To Do if Other People’s Success Discourages You

Years ago, I was leafing through a magazine for entrepreneurs. The more I read, the more discouraged I became.

This person had just been interviewed on Oprah.

This one had just received a 6 figure book deal.

This one had just returned from a European tour.


The more I read about everyone else’s accomplishments; the more discouraged I became.

Then, I looked up from the magazine.

I was laying on a king-size bed in an all-expenses-paid suite at a 5 diamond resort in Hawaii, resting up to deliver a keynote for a client the next morning.

Yikes. That example illustrates the insidiousness of comparison.

Comparison is the root of all unhappiness . . . and the ruin of self-esteem.

Comparing ourselves to others causes us to lose sight of our own success.

As said in a previous blog, if we don’t quit our comparisons, our comparisons will cause us to quit.

So, what to do?

From now on, don’t compare and don’t compete with other people’s success.

Instead . . . Admire. Aspire. Accept.

Admire = Say to yourself, “Good for them.”

Other people’s successes don’t need to diminish our own. It’s not a zero sum game. When you read about someone who has done well, say a heartfelt “Good for them.” You can honor other people’s achievements without belittling your own.

Aspire = Ask, “How can I?”

If you want what they’ve got; ask yourself, “How can I make that happen?” Focusing on how to replicate their success moves you from envy to action.

Accept = Tell yourself, “I am grateful for what I’ve got.” Remind yourself of everything right in your life and choose to appreciate your many blessings.

A good friend, Maggie Bedrosian, told me she had retreated to her room, demoralized, after her first day attending a national conference. “It seemed everyone I met was doing ‘better’ than me. This person spoke 100 times that year. This person just had their first million dollar year. This person had landed contracts with several Fortune 500 clients.”

“I was feeling very small. Then, I looked at the photo of my husband and son I always carry when I travel. Instant perspective. One glance centered me in what really matters. All of a sudden, I was filled with gratitude for what I’ve got – a loving son and husband and a life and business I love.”

“The next morning, I tucked their photo into the back of my plastic name badge and went downstairs to the conference. Whenever I started feeling intimidated by someone’s accomplishments, I’d peek at their photo to remind myself of my priorities. Truth be told; I don’t want to be on the road 150 days a year. I had (temporarily) allowed comparisons to kill my confidence and pull me off center. No more.”

Next time you start comparing yourself to others and getting discouraged by their success; stop.

Instead, admire, aspire or accept.

Keep a photo of who and what really matters to you . . . in sight-in mind . . . so what you value stays top-of-mind.

Other people’s achievements will no longer have the power to discourage you. You will carry a centered core of confidence with you wherever you go – and keep your focus on what really matters – which frees your energy up to create the life YOU love – your SerenDestiny.

3 responses to “SerenDestiny #19: What To Do if Other People’s Success Discourages You

  1. That’s exactly what I was looking for, Thank you very much Sam for this great solution and way of thinking 🙂

  2. Pingback: Links of the Week: 2013.01 « Creating Communication

  3. Please count me in for the last spot in SerenDestiny!
    Cathy Harris

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