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When you see people around you reaching success, sometimes it can leave you feeling like a loser, frustrated, or discouraged. You may not be achieving all of your goals perfectly but that’s not the reason you feel inadequate.
The reason you’re feeling so “loserly” likely has more to do with the way you compare yourself to others.
“But I see other people achieving amazing things I’m not even close to accomplishing.”
This may be true, but every time you compare your failures to another person’s successes you are left feeling dejected and low on motivation. When you’re discouraged, your confidence tanks and your chance of future success drops dramatically.
The truth is – you are probably already doing great things, but in order to build on them and move forward to achieve your goals, you need to recognize and celebrate your wins. The better you feel about what you are already doing, the more confident you will become and the more you will be able to achieve.
“But if I’m already so great, why don’t I feel great?”
You have a gatekeeper inside your head that decides what messages get through. This is useful because it can stop negative messages from becoming embedded in your consciousness. A rude driver cuts you off and then calls you an idiot. The gatekeeper in your brain likely informs you that you’re just fine and that Rage Monster is the one with the problem. In this case, your internal gatekeeper is serving you well.
However, this gatekeeper can also wreak havoc when it starts limiting positive messages from getting through or decides that negatives are the only things worth noticing.
You may need to retrain your brain and that’s okay. There are several things you can do to stop your negative voice from taking over, recognize and celebrate your wins, and use your positive momentum to propel you even higher. They are all part of a process I call Drops of Awesome.
1.) Stop Comparing
You will never get to a place of true peace, happiness, and success until you stop comparing yourself to other people. If you feel loved, you will always be able to find someone who is loved more. If you are wealthy, there will always be someone better off financially. Someone will be prettier, healthier, more educated, and better at playing checkers.
Comparison is a nearly impossible game to win and if you do, it’s a hallow victory.
You need to get to a place where you find joy in your accomplishments on their own merit, not in relation to any other person.
2.) Recognize your Own Negativity
Your negative thoughts are probably so much a part of your internal background noise that you don’t even notice them anymore. They tell you other people are better than you. They tell you you’ll never succeed. They tell you to stop trying. When you do succeed, they tell you how you could have done better, how your accomplishment isn’t good enough.
Spend the next hour listening to the conversations going on inside your head. You may hear things like, “I’ll probably be late. I’m always late,” or “Of course I dropped that jar on the floor. That’s so typical of me.” How about, “I suck. I can’t believe I said that.”?
When one of my readers first read Drops of Awesome: The You’re-More-Awesome-Than-You-Think Journal, she said she felt bad for me as I described my negative inner voice. She was pretty sure that her inner dialogue was much more positive than mine. But as she started to really listen to the things going on in her head, she emailed me. “My inner voice is a jerk!” she exclaimed. She’d had no idea.
Recognizing the negativity is the first step to stopping it.
3.) Stop the Cycle
Often your inner negative voice is annoyingly repetitive. It will feed you the same things over and over again, pecking away at your resolve, hoping you’ll eventually swallow its lies. After you recognize a negative thought, stop the cycle by replacing it with something else.
Focus exclusively on your breath. Sing a song. Repeat a mantra. I like saying, “Drops of Awesome,” just to shift my focus.
If your negative voice thinks it can interrupt your perfectly lovely day, show it who’s boss by interrupting its repetitive string of mind garbage.
4.) Count Your Drops of Awesome
Make a list of the good things you’ve done in the last ten minutes, your Drops of Awesome. Picture a giant Bucket of Awesome that you’re filling with these Drops.
Did you encourage a co-worker, actively listen to your boss’s instructions, respond to an email you’d been procrastinating? Read an informative article? How about in the last hour, day, week, month or year?
When you add up all of your tiny acts of goodness, a more clear picture of who you truly are
begins to emerge and, as you focus on your Awesome, you will feel motivated to accomplish more.
5.) Celebrate Your Drops of Awesome
Not only should you recognize the good you do each day, but you should also enjoy and celebrate your Awesome. Practice saying, “Drops of Awesome!” every time you do something positive. Write down your Drops. You will be amazed at how quickly they add up and how excited you can become about the tiniest things.
I hung my keys on the hook as soon as I came in the door. Drop of Awesome!
I submitted that report on time. Drop of Awesome!
I took the stairs instead of the elevator. Drop of Awesome!
I went to bed on time. Drop of Awesome!
Just saying that phrase makes me smile and boosts my happy chemistry, giving my brain and body positive reinforcement for a job well done. This is much more effective in producing future positive results than, “I hung my keys on the hook. Maybe this time I won’t lose them like I always do,” or “I submitted that report on time… for once,” or, “I took the stairs instead of the elevator. Good thing. I’m so fat!
6.) Redefine Success
Success doesn’t happen all at once, in huge gallons of Awesome. Success comes a Drop at a time. Each small positive choice you make gets you one step closer to achieving your goals. Each Drop of Awesome makes a better you. Stop thinking of success as some huge milestone you will eventually reach and start thinking of it as something you achieved a little today and will achieve a little more tonight and then tomorrow morning. You can be successful right now, in this moment, as you put that next Drop in your bucket.
7.) Experiment with Being Awesome
The better you feel about what you’re doing now, the less afraid you’ll be to try new things, and the more your momentum will spur you on to greater heights.
Once you believe that success comes a tiny bit at a time, you’ll be willing to try out doing something Awesome… a bit… just to see how it feels.
Have you ever wanted to run a marathon? Maybe you’re too scared to train for months at a time, to eat well, and commit to get the rest your body needs. Well, if you’re living with a Drops of Awesome mindset, you can experiment with being a marathon runner.
Decide to go to bed early tonight. Boom! You just slept like a marathon runner. How did that feel?
Maybe you’re ready to take the experiment a step further. Fill a water bottle and lay out your running clothes before you fall asleep. Drops of Awesome!
One day you might actually wear those running clothes for a trip around the block. You are Awesome. And you’re not just on your way to doing great things, you are actually doing great things right now!
Living your life with Drops of Awesome means feeling great about where you are now and hopeful about where you’re headed. It means being at peace with the other people in your life because you aren’t comparing yourself to them and you are free to learn from and be genuinely happy about their successes.
Do you want to be successful right now? What’s the next Drop of Awesome you plan to put in your bucket? Make it a good one.