After I started my personal development journey, I felt like I was better than everyone else. What’s more, I wanted them to be more like me. Because I felt like my habits, values, and mentality were right.
So, I often judged people when they did something I didn’t agree with. I judged people who smoked. Drank. Partied. Didn’t take care of their physical or mental health. Procrastinated.
And I didn’t just stop there. I also resented them because I felt like our association was bringing me down. Anchoring me to a place I didn’t want to be in. And taking time away from me from doing the things I wanted to do to make my life better.
Looking back, I completely missed the point of personal development. I mean, it’s called personal development for a reason, right?
Because it’s about your growth. Not anyone else’s. It’s about taking accountability for your own behaviour. It’s about being strict with yourself, but tolerant of others.
It means that you’re responsible for your life as they’re responsible for theirs. And as we’re all responsible for our own lives, we don’t have the right to judge or resent anyone.
So, here are 3 mindset shifts I’ve adopted to let go of my feelings of superiority over others. And how you can, too.
Focus on yourself.
The only person you have control over and are responsible for is yourself. Not anyone else. Look, people are going to act in a way that you don’t agree with. Whether that’s drinking. Smoking. Eating junk. Not exercising. Not learning. Not growing.
One of the most important lessons I learned this year is to just let people be. Leave them to themselves. Because whatever they do, however they live, that’s their business. It’s out of your control.
Instead of focusing on them, judging them, and feeling better than them, focus on yourself. Look at your behaviour. And if you’re acting in a way that isn’t aligned with your values, then figure out why. Find a solution. And make sure you don’t do it again.
Understand you’re not responsible for other people.
Stop trying to “save” people by pushing your habits, values, and mindset onto them. The reality is you can’t save anyone. Even if you give people the exact roadmap to living a healthy and fulfilling life, there’s no guarantee they’ll listen to you.
Because people will only change if they, themselves, have the desire to. It’s exactly that saying, “People will only change if the pain from remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.”
If they don’t have the will, whatever you say or do won’t matter. And if you insist on changing them, they’ll only grow to resent you. This leads me to my first point again, let people be. It’s their life.
Radically accept people.
The way I see it as you have two options. Accept them or leave them.
You can either accept others exactly as they are. Without wanting to change them. Without harboring the expectation that one day they’ll change. And if you can’t… then leave.
Because again, people won’t change unless they make the decision to change themselves. So, if you insist on changing them or expect them to change, it’s toxic for both parties.
They’ll resent you because you don’t accept, love, and care for them exactly as they are. And you’ll resent them for not being a good influence in your life.
Wrapping Things Up
Personal development isn’t about being better than others. It’s not about comparing yourself to others. It’s not about saving others. It’s about you. How you can be better. Because everyone is responsible for their own life.
So, instead of feeling superior to others:
Focus on yourself
Understand you can’t save anyone
Practice radical acceptance of people