'I’m a Failure' – Comparing Ourselves to Others

August 15, 2019 Guest Author

I don’t know how to forever banish the voice in my head that tells me I’m a failure. I know who I am. I know what I have to offer the world. On my worst days, none of it matters because I feel like I’m a failure. On my best, I’ll wake with renewed hope and by day’s end am fighting back tears of angst, staring numbly at the wall.

In this thought war, I know I am not alone. I want to make a difference, to place a marked and memorable stamp on the world and those around me. I want to thrive. And I’ve met so many women, like me, who believe they fall short of this ambition. So, I offer two truths I’ve discovered.

1. I Feel Like I’m a Failure When I Focus on Who I Am Not

It’s so easy, enticing even, to become trapped in a destructive thought-loop. Easy, because our minds are wired to be on the alert for threats. Enticing, because we invite the who-do-you-think-you-are thoughts in for a rational conversation. We’re curious. Is it true? Am I really a failure? Is there something wrong with me? Will I ever get it right? Focusing on who we are not becomes our default. We don’t even recognize it for the enemy it is.

I was stuck for so long in the misery of who I believed I wasn’t that I was choking the life out of who I actually am. In fact, the more I thought about, and believed in, the lies that diminished my worth, it became impossible to see an alternative existence. My lens had become so clouded with doubt because I was gauging my success and happiness in life on the lives of others. More accurately, my perceptions were making me feel like I was a failure.

2. I’m a Failure If I Compare the Worst of Me to the Best of Others But Comparison Is a Lie

Why do we spend so much time and valuable energy comparing ourselves to others? As if we need another reason to feel like failures. My life is anything but blissful when I study what others are up to and how they appear to have everything together. Those appearances are not only misleading, they’re irrelevant to us.

I believe we direct our energies to the good in others because our minds are too cluttered with the bad of us. It always feels better to focus on the good. Yet, this requires us to retarget our focus to all that is true about us. To use a mirror that shines a light on the unmistakable and invaluable uniqueness of us. The mirror we use to understand the truth of ourselves must never reflect outward, but inward.

I choose to focus on who I am. My gift of learning and sharing life-changing ways of thinking. My gift of encouraging others to discover their true reflection. And that’s when I know I’m not a failure, I’m thriving.

This post was written by:

Dr. Sherri Yoder is revolutionizing the way in which women live. Utilizing an enhanced philosophy of emotional, relationship, and spiritual experiences common to women, she delivers her gifts of compassion, empathy, and insight through keynote speaking, coaching, and writing. Find Dr. Sherri on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

APA Reference
Author, G. (2019, August 15). 'I’m a Failure' – Comparing Ourselves to Others, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Guest Author

Lizanne Corbit
August, 18 2019 at 6:40 pm

This is such a remarkable read! I absolutely love the slightly different view this piece takes on the act of comparison. Brilliant: "I was stuck for so long in the misery of who I believed I wasn’t that I was choking the life out of who I actually am." I think it's also a fantastic point about comparing your "worst" to others "best". How easy this is to do in the age of social media particularly. Thank you for sharing.

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