Photo by Denys Argyriou on Unsplash

In an ever-increasingly moving world, it’s not uncommon to experience the disheartening feeling of being left behind.

Our careers, relationships, and personal achievements all pile up to the constant emotional struggle we face. This sense of falling behind can be detrimental, especially when it involves the expectations set by society and ourselves. However, it’s important to note that we are all on a unique journey to self-discovery, and comparing ourselves to others is unfair.

Other than being unfair to ourselves and the progress we made, it is also unproductive, as we get sucked into such an unhealthy state of mind. Moreover, feeling left behind can make us question a lot of things.

I’m nearing the age where I have so many options. What do I really want?

Why are they living their best lives while I’m stuck in the same place?

What am I even doing at this point?

These looming questions are valid; we cannot judge another for feeling this way. We must understand that comparing ourselves to others is natural since our lives differ. However, dwelling on such negative feelings can hinder personal growth; we may never overcome these struggles.

Self-Comparison and Being Left Behind

Comparing ourselves to others is a common trap that can intensify the feeling of being left behind. Remember that societal timelines do not dictate personal fulfillment or success. Instead of focusing on what others have achieved, shift your perspective to yourself. Carefully look into your achievements; they don’t have to be grand. Sometimes, small victories count the most, and they are the ones with more value than any large-scale success.

Instead of focusing on what others have achieved in their lives, shift your perspective on yourself and how you can improve. Celebrate your own progress as you take one day at a time. No matter how small, your journey is unfolding in its own time.

Defining Your Own Path

Carving your own destiny is something that many want to do but need help to start. We may have become too comfortable with what we have now. While that may be a good thing, it comes with the looming setback of stagnating and not moving forward as we progress. Take time to reflect on your values, passions, and the direction you want to take in life.

Defining your own life should be based on your genuine desires and interests and not trying to conform to external expectations. Set meaningful goals that align with your values and work toward them quickly.

Furthermore, be kind to yourself during self-doubt and perceived stagnation, especially when stuck at a crossroads. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would offer to a friend facing a similar situation. Remember that everyone’s journey unfolds differently and that progress is not always the same.

Feeling Left Behind Is Not the End

It’s normal to feel like we haven’t done enough to get where we should be. However, it never hurts to be kinder to ourselves when we feel left behind. The conflicting nature of romanticizing resiliency doesn’t help either, as we tend to console ourselves that feeling left behind is fine.

As we continually grow as people, we must learn from children’s books like Chloe the Left Behind Angel by Elaine Vanderberg. The book tackles many subjects, like the fear of meeting others’ expectations. This will surely be an eye-opener for us all.

Feeling left behind can be an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth. Embrace the chance to learn from setbacks and obstacles, as they often provide valuable lessons and insight. Focus on self-improvement, acquiring new skills, and expanding your knowledge. Cultivate a growth mindset that sees challenges as stepping stones toward personal development rather than roadblocks that define your worth.