Overcoming Envy and Self-Doubt
Failing and breaking down
I have failed so many times. I have been through so many challenges. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get somewhere. Every time I do something, I feel like it’s not enough, or someone will probably do better than me.
As I grew older, I would attempt races, and end up falling out of contest in the first 200 meters. I would always wonder why I can’t get past the hurdle and would entertain thoughts of inferiority, even when I have worked hard and have the experience to show up for it.
Those who know me will probably say that I am lying because they still see the old me – the me who always excelled in class. I know some people look up to me, and I appreciate that I can help them. However, a part of me always asks, ‘How can I assist them if I can't even help myself?’ Having to struggle with getting business plans and freelancing off the ground time and time again is horrifying and challenging. Having that power limiter hindered me from being anywhere.
You probably feel the same, eventually choosing to stay in the comfort of your home, or in a job that does not pay well. Because you don’t feel like you belong anywhere else, you choose to live a life that everyone tells you to.
You are not alone. Everyone has some misgivings and insecurities in one way or another. Like me. (These words may be addressed to you, but these are words that I tell myself.)
Crippling envy and growing insecurities
When you see your peers or people who are your junior get promoted, start a business or become more successful than you, it is painful. When you see your life as stagnant, while others rise towards the summit, happiness is the least you will feel. There is envy towards the person, there is anger at the system, and most of all, there is growing self-doubt. Why is it so difficult to achieve your goals?
Why is it hard to be happy for other people?
You sulk. You cry. You feel horrible. It seems like the world crashed on you. But is that being selfish?
Working harder and longer
There are a lot of times when I feel like I did everything I could, yet the outcome is nowhere near where I wanted it to be. Life (Sh*t) happens. It’s a fact. Why do other people succeed faster than you? Why do some people exert less effort, yet would be instantly recognized their efforts? Why do some only need to smile and they immediately gain a significant following? Some people are just damn lucky.
Believe it or not, a lot of people have to work harder and longer to achieve their goals. But should that stop you from even trying? No, because by quitting, you automatically lose.
The truth is, the reason why you are (or why I am) unhappy is because you are always competing with others. When you perceive their success as threats to yourself or your ego, your body automatically responds on impulse with great care and negativity. However, this is not the only way to be.
Competing with you own self
As Simon Sinek puts it, when you place your focus on being better than others, you fail to grasp your purpose. Instead, you should be competing with yourself. Find why something is important to you, or why something you have can be of use to other people. When you strive to be better than your monsters, others will start to gravitate towards you.
I am not perfect, but I think I finally found my purpose.
I accept that. After so many years, I have finally come to terms that I am not be suited for the daily corporate grind – that my purpose lay elsewhere. And even when starting a new creative path, I believe that I am my own me. Even when other people are pursuing the same things as I do, there will always be something I can share. When I accepted that, things became more bearable. My attitude towards work changed. I don't see myself competing at work anymore. I am happier and freer to pursue the stuff I want.
I know that what matters is how I am becoming a better version of myself, and how I can become an inspiration to others.
There are still a lot of uncertainties in life, but I am more driven to pursue this path, and I believe that I will succeed. And writing is a way for me to share what I know and what I learn along the way.
Seeking a purpose
I believe in you, as much as I believe in me. Even if I may not have met you or have spoken with you, I know that you have something to share with the world. There are people who believe in you. Even if you are far from the success they are having, you will get there if you focus on competing with your past self instead of other people.
Your time will come.
There are a lot of people like you and me. It’s difficult to overcome the negative feelings of envy, doubt, and insecurity. However, if you just start showing up, that makes you a lot better than what you were yesterday.
Life is about the long game. Present success means nothing in the long run. Don’t fret. Your time will come. Until then, focus on what you can do now, and consistently fuel your confidence with small victories – maybe a chocolate bar for each time you showed up.
Believe in it, and find people who can support you in your journey. You’ll find that by surrounding yourself with positive people to complement your purpose, life is so much better; and with them, pursuing your passion and purpose becomes more meaningful.