I feel so behind. Help!

30 Sep

Dear Losers,

I feel so behind. I consider myself an accomplished person, an overachiever. But when I see kids doing crazy things- starting companies, getting perfect SAT scores, being a star athlete, I can’t help but compare myself and feel bad. It’s just overwhelming.

Lisa, 18

Dear Reader,

 Oh my gosh, I know.

It is overwhelming. People are doing things younger and faster.  Soon there will be genius zygotes admitted to Harvard because their prenatal SAT scores were just that good.

Hi, Mom! Nice to meet you. Good news. I got into Harvard!

But that’s something the rest of us teens and adults are just going to have to deal with.

Here are some thoughts that might help you.

1. You’re not behind. You’re just at the beginning.

Everyone successful started somewhere. But instead of seeing their journey, you’re seeing their glamorous end result. If you’re feeling behind, it’s probably because you’re at the beginning of a new journey and looking way too far ahead.


Of course you’d feel behind if you’re standing at the start line of a marathon and staring 26.2 miles in the distance. But you can’t jump to the finish line. Look at the journey ahead with promise, not dread.

2. Almost everyone I know feels “behind” in some way.

Really. Even the most accomplished person you know may feel behind. Because when someone is accomplishing something, they often feel like they’re falling behind in something else.

For example,  some people excel at a skill, but feel behind socially.

Some people have a great social life, but think their career is a hot mess.

And some people have it all. Jerks.

Just kidding. If someone does seem to have it all, it’s because they are putting a lot of time and effort into everything. Which brings me to my next point.

3. To accomplish anything, it requires time and effort.

If you haven’t put much time or effort into anything, why are you beating yourself up and expecting these huge results? Give it time and effort. It’s a prerequisite for accomplishing anything.

3. Are you doing something to compete and get bragging rights, or are you doing it because you want to do it?

Hopefully, youre doing something because you want to do it. So stop making it about where you are in relation to other people.

Oprah on Master Class talked about how people have the tendency to make everything a race. When she started her show, everyone was like, What are you doing? You can’t beat Phil Donahue!

And she was like, Awesome.  Then I won’t worry about beating Phil Donahue. Or being Phil Donahue.  So suck it. (I’m paraphrasing, obviously.)

“The way you step up your game is not to worry about the other guy in any situation, because you can’t control the other guy. You only have control over yourself. So it’s like running a race. The energy that it takes to look back and see where the other guys are takes energy away from you. And if they’re too close, it scares you. So, that’s what I would say to my team all the time: Don’t waste your time in the race looking back to see where the other guy is or what the other guy is doing. It’s not about the other guy. It’s about what can you do. You just need to run that race as hard as you can. You need to give it everything you’ve got, all the time, for yourself.” -Oprah

4. Urgency is great. Panic is not.

You don’t want to pursue something in a leisurely, fa-la-la pace.

The hills are alive! But my life's a mess! Fa la la la!

Urgency is great. It displays fire in the belly. But when you try so hard to speed things up that you panic, that actually slows you down. Take deep breaths. Dance around on a hill. It’s going to be okay.

5. Stop worrying about  timelines and tradition.

Neither of these things exist because they are logical.
So you thought you could plan everything out. You can’t.
Or you thought you’d  follow a traditional path. And you didn’t.

So what? Let people judge you. It’s your life. There were gray-haired students in a lot of my classes at UCLA.


And I thought that was harder and more commendable than every other 18 -year -old like me who followed the high acheiver rule book and got in on time. They had the guts to go back to school, and who knows maybe even a frat part or two. That’s awesome!

So maybe you’re not behind. Maybe you’re just out of order. Or breaking tradition. Even more awesome!

Everyone has their own checklist, so there’s no need to make it a race, or a scavenger hunt.

Appreciate what you have checked off and accomplished, instead of panicking about everything you haven’t yet.

If you like this post, please link to it on your Facebook or Twitter account! Or add it to StumbleSupon or Digg. Thanks!

Related Posts:

Success for Dummies and Smarties


Tomorrow is Today!



5 Responses to “I feel so behind. Help!”

  1. gojulesgo October 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I love this! Especially “Are you doing something just to compete and get bragging rights, or are you doing something because you want to do it?”

  2. Loser 2.0 October 4, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    Agreed! Bragging rights are overrated.

  3. Chelsea October 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Love it you are rockin girl!!

  4. Loser 2.0 October 10, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    Thanks for the support!

  5. Rose January 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Wow. This really got me thinking about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Thanks a lot. 🙂

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