As humans, it’s a natural tendency to compare ourselves to others.
We might look at our peers or siblings, and think we’re not good enough–or that we’ve been left far behind.
You’ve heard it before: comparison is the thief of joy.
Everyone moves at their own pace; life is not inherently a race.
And if you think it is, you should start doing some serious self-reflection.
Have you ever considered that you’re just good enough the way you are? That you’re doing just fine?
Once you block out the noise, you’ll make some uplifting realizations–and stop unnecessarily feeling like you don’t measure up.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the counterintuitive reasons why you’re good enough just the way you are.
If these items resonate with you on some level, you have nothing to worry about.
Let’s dive in!
1) Your flaws build character
Remember, it’s your imperfections, quirks, and even flaws that contribute to your inner uniqueness.
They shape who you are as a character in this world.
They make you stand out, rather than just fit in like everyone else.
People who count know that being different is a strength.
Don’t forget: Authenticity is attractive.
Being authentic will draw in the right people and opportunities.
Meanwhile, pretending to be someone you’re not usually leads to discontent and mitigates genuine connections.
The latter is something I learned in my twenties.
My whole teenage life, I wanted to fit in, to be accepted like everyone else, to be just another cog in the system.
I didn’t want to ruffle feathers. I practically refused to embrace any semblance of individuality.
But as I matured, I realized how well, lame, (and limiting) this outlook was. I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors.
By trying to be like everyone else, I wasn’t truly living life. I was suppressing the qualities that made me, me.
Once I shifted my perception, stopped blatantly conforming, and decided to be proud of who I was, things changed for me dramatically.
2) Your mistakes are crucial lessons
If you ain’t learning, you ain’t growing.
So don’t be too hard on yourself for past mistakes. To err is human after all.
In other words, there’s nothing more inherently human than making the odd mistake.
So a misstep here or blunder there? Don’t sweat it.
Trust me, I’ve made literally countless mistakes in my life. I still make a ton of mistakes to this day.
What’s changed for me is that I now view these shortcomings and failures as opportunities for growth; as opportunities to bounce back stronger than ever.
Some of you might tend to dwell on the past; but by doing so, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.
Once you start viewing mistakes as platforms for evolution, wisdom, and resilience there will be no stopping you.
3) Your vulnerabilities make you relatable
We live in a society that still almost exclusively values strength; the unadulterated, alpha, kind of strength.
And though we’ve made some strides in public opinion, the concept of vulnerability is still often frowned upon as weak.
I’m a sports fan.
Almost all of the glorified athletes in history are touted as having “killer instinct.”
They are admired for having zero vulnerabilities, mental, emotional, or physical.
With athletes being role models, through this mentality, we’re sending the wrong message: that to be accepted you have to be perpetually strong.
This shouldn’t be.
From my experience, it’s our vulnerabilities as people that make us relatable.
Our vulnerabilities foster authentic connections with others, who at the end of the day, will appreciate and respect your openness.
So while there’s nothing wrong with being strong, the same can be said about being vulnerable.
Acknowledging and expressing your emotions doesn’t make you less capable; it makes you human.
Emotions provide insight and depth to your experiences.
So be kinder to yourself. And use whatever holds you back as fuel for personal development.
Self-compassion almost always leads to growth.
4) Your uniqueness breeds innovation
We spoke about conformity earlier.
And while conformity in moderation is fine, even to be expected, when adhered to in excess, it compromises your innate power as an individual.
It compromises your uniqueness, your quirks, your ability to breed innovation.
Remember, some of the most historic innovators in the history of the world from Steve Jobs to Henry Ford to Walt Disney to Thomas Edison were all laughed at and ridiculed at one point in time.
Had they given in to society’s doubts of them, we’d be living in quite a different world today.
The truth is, unique perspectives are what truly drive change.
So rather than resisting your uniqueness and idiosyncrasies, realize that these are the things that can serve as catalysts for true innovation.
You might not invent the modern-day equivalent of the light bulb or car (or who knows, maybe you will) but still, realize that your fresh ideas and creative solutions intrinsically have value.
A lot of it.
Never doubt that.
5) Your contentment is subjective
Years ago, I remember seeing a tattoo on someone’s forearm that read “Never content.”
The latter message being that you should never stop growing and evolving, you should be on the constant lookout for opportunities to better yourself.
While I can appreciate the sentiment, this never-ending quest for self-improvement can be. well, toxic, in itself.
It may sound counterintuitive, but at some point, we all need to calm down and enjoy and appreciate present-day life and what (and who) we have in it.
Finding contentment in who you are doesn’t equate to complacency, as the aforementioned tattoo might suggest.
It means you’re happy with the stable foundation that you’ve built; it means your barometer for success comes from within–not driven solely by external validation like what car you drive or how expensive your watch is.
You can be making minimum wage, but if you have a loving family to go home to every day, you can also be the self-proclaimed richest person in the world.
Remember, contentment is subjective. Just like everything else.
To recap, I’d like to say that every journey in this life is unique–yours very much included.
Your path in life is entirely your own.
So start embracing your ups and downs, the good and the bad.
Life is not meant to be perfect. Stop comparing. Stop dwelling.
As long as you’re learning and coming back stronger, you’ll be in good shape.
In the words of the indomitable Dr. Seuss: “Always do what you want, and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
You got this.
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