man feeling behind in life

4 Steps to Stop Feeling Behind In Life

Do you often find yourself overwhelmed by the constant pressure of feeling behind in life? We’re constantly bombarded with expectations and comparisons, leaving many of us questioning our progress and achievements. The good news is, you’re not alone, and there are actionable steps you can take to break free from this feeling. In this article, we explore four effective steps that can help you stop feeling behind in life.

Table of Contents

What is Being Behind in Life?

Before we delve into the steps to combat this feeling, let’s take a moment to understand what it truly means to “feel behind in life.” This feeling often stems from comparing yourself to others.

Often, this comparison is about our achievements, milestones, or current life situation. It’s an unhealthy habit that leads to self-doubt, anxiety, and a sense of inadequacy. Perhaps it even keeps you up at night.

However, life is not a race with a fixed timeline or predetermined milestones. Each person’s journey is unique, filled with their own experiences and goals. Perhaps you want to be married and have children at a young age. Or maybe you want to be a successful entrepreneur. The possibilities are truly endless.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the 4 steps to stop feeling behind in life.

stop feeling behind in life

1. Stop Comparing Yourself With The Best

One of the primary culprits of feeling behind in life is the constant comparison with those who seem to have achieved remarkable success. While it’s natural to look up to inspirational figures, measuring your progress against their accomplishments can be detrimental to your well-being. Worse even, it’s totally unfair to yourself.

Instead of fixating on the achievements of others, focus on your own journey and the progress you’ve made. Remember that success is subjective and varies from person to person, as all our goals are different

A concrete example is if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. If you compare yourself to the countless entrepreneurs on social media, flexing their wealth and huge businesses, it can be easy to think “why do I not have this success?”

At the same time, you also want to have a great body. So you see all these fitness coaches on social media, showing you their abs and amazing workout routines. Once again, you sigh “why can’t I have this?”

What you’re doing is comparing one aspect (like entrepreneurship) with some of the best in the world and ignoring all the other factors. Yes, that business owner on Instagram is highly successful, but how is his social life? Is his health okay? Does he even have time to relax and enjoy life?

So, instead of comparing only one factor, look at the entire picture. And understand that what you’re seeing online is only what others want you to see (which is their very best). If you don’t realize this, you set an unhealthy and unfair bar for yourself.

comparing yourself with the best feeling behind in life

2. Identify Your Own Goals

To stop feeling behind in life, it’s crucial to identify and define your own set of goals. It’s your life, so it’s up to you to decide what you want to do and who you want to be. It’s important to note that your aspirations should reflect your values, passions, and desires rather than conforming to societal expectations or the achievements of others. 

By establishing clear goals, you create a roadmap for your journey and gain a sense of direction. How can you even know whether you’re behind in life if you don’t even know what forward or backward means to you?

For instance, if you are pursuing a career, set specific and measurable objectives such as acquiring a new skill, completing a project, or securing a promotion. These goals will not only guide your actions but also provide a tangible sense of accomplishment, reducing the feeling of falling behind.

When you start to define your goals, I can highly recommend using SMART-goals. This makes sure you create goals that are both realistic and clear.

It can also be helpful to break down larger objectives into smaller, achievable tasks. This approach not only makes your goals more manageable but also allows you to celebrate small victories along the way. Each step forward is proof of your progress, reinforcing a positive mindset and diminishing the sense of lagging behind.

SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound

3. Change Envy To Inspiration

We’ve all been there – scrolling through social media, seeing someone achieving a milestone that we haven’t reached yet, and feeling a pang of envy. But what if, instead of letting envy drag you down, you could change it into something positive for your own life?

Imagine you come across a friend who just bought their dream home. Rather than succumbing to envy, use that moment to fuel your aspirations. Let their success inspire you to set clear goals for your own home ownership journey. Break down the steps, ask for their advice, create a savings plan, and actively work towards turning that envy into motivation for achieving your own dreams.

In fact, it can be incredibly motivating to actively seek out success stories that resonate with your goals. Whether it’s someone excelling in their career, achieving a fitness milestone, or cultivating meaningful relationships, view their accomplishments as a roadmap for your own journey. 

Envy becomes a powerful tool when transformed into the inspiration to take positive actions in your life. The way I see it, every success story is proof that someone like you and me can achieve that goal.

Moreover, reach out to those you admire. Instead of resenting their achievements, ask for advice and insights. Most successful people are more than willing to share their experiences and offer guidance to others. By changing envy into inspiration, you not only foster personal growth but also build a network of support that propels you forward.

4. Start Comparing Yourself With Your Past Self

The most impactful comparison you can make is not with others but with your past self. Reflect on your personal growth, achievements, and the challenges you’ve overcome. This self-reflection serves as a powerful reminder of your progress and the resilience you’ve demonstrated throughout your journey.

For instance, if you once struggled with a particular skill or faced a challenging situation, compare your current abilities and coping mechanisms to those of your past self. Celebrate the improvements and recognize that growth is a continuous process. This positive self-comparison fosters a sense of gratitude and accomplishment, steering you away from the detrimental feeling of being behind in life.

To achieve this, keep a journal documenting your achievements, both big and small. Regularly revisit these entries to acknowledge the positive changes in your life. It can be eye-opening to see how struggles of years ago seem so trivial when you look at them now. This has everything to do with the fact that you’ve grown and improved yourself since then.

compare yourself to your past self

Conclusion: How Do I Stop Feeling Behind In Life?

Feeling behind in life is a gloomy feeling that is often based on wrong assumptions and a negative mindset. To combat this feeling, stop comparing yourself with the best. You’re not being fair to yourself if you compare only one factor with the best in the world and ignore the rest. It’s also important to identify your own goals in life, as this gives you direction. Changing envy into inspiration can be helpful as well. Finally, start comparing yourself with your past self. That way, you can see your progress and achievements clearly.