Overcoming the Fear of Being Less

I’ve always had this fear. The fear of witnessing others being better than me. During the school years, with dedication and a thirst for knowledge, I consistently ranked among the top-performing students. Living under the constant admiration of friends was a comfortable place to be. However, that changed dramatically once I stepped into university and, even more so, when I entered the job market.

My life after turning 18 was no longer the small well I was used to, surrounded by the familiar. The world out there was vast, and there were countless individuals who were more talented, hardworking, and successful than I was. After facing initial setbacks, I came to the realization that I was no longer the center of attention. I was just an ordinary person. It felt like I had turned into a frog at the bottom of a well, futilely trying to reclaim a kingdom that had been taken from me. I sought solace by retreating into the comfort of what I once knew, desperately trying to find the ease and familiarity of the past.

I became apprehensive about trying new things, fearing that I wouldn’t excel. I felt inferior compared to the brilliant individuals out there. I was ashamed of what I had. I believed that no matter how well I did, there were hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people who could do it better. Did this mean I would accept being a perpetual loser? If so, this article would never exist! After a long period of agony and self-doubt, I’ve distilled a few small concepts from my own experience. I hope they can be of help to someone on their journey of self-discovery.

We Start with Accepting the Truth

Understanding the truth is the right path to intelligent action. There are 8 billion people in this world. Undoubtedly, there will always be someone better than you on this planet unless you are exceptionally extraordinary, a one-in-a-billion case. However, if we narrow it down to a continent, a country, or a region, the outcome remains largely the same.

But remember, each of us is a unique individual with different circumstances, living environments, abilities, resources, and paths. Therefore, it’s impossible to make absolute comparisons between individuals. Furthermore, you have no control over external factors beyond yourself. The only thing we can do is to accept and focus on the aspects we can adjust.

What if you’ve accepted the truth but still find it challenging?

If You Want It, You Will Find a Way; If You Don’t, You Will Find an Excuse

I always keep this saying in mind to brush away the most reasonable excuses whenever I feel inhibited. When you concentrate on the reasons, you’re directing your thoughts to the “problem.” You bring the problem to the forefront, place it on the table, but fail to address it. You end up whining and asking why everything seems to be working against you.

However, when you focus on the “how,” you clarify the problem and provide a solution. No matter how difficult it may seem, you will find a way if you genuinely want to, and nothing can stop you.

This applies to taking on new challenges or experiences you haven’t mastered yet. The reason “there are too many people better than me” is simply an excuse to cover up your fear and reluctance to overcome your inner hurdles.

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