Other people's successes are not a sign of your failure.
When I was in high school, I would base a lot of my self-worth based on how much better I was doing than those around me. It was a childish mindset - as long as I was "better" than the people around me, then I was doing the right thing. That's what made me strive for a higher GPA, join more clubs, and be more extroverted.
I was driven by this desire to be "better".
While on the outside this sounds like a good thing, I was so focused on being better than other people that I couldn't see what was really important - being better than myself.
So when other people were winning awards in acting or music - things I didn't even care about at the time - I wouldn't even want to congratulate them for it. I thought that by congratulating them, I would somehow be acknowledging that they were "better" than me. If I felt like someone's success was undeserved, or simply handed to them, that's when I started to get jealous. I would want what they had, and silently repress my jealousy with a congratulations and a smile.
That's such an unhealthy mindset, that I can't comprehend how I went with it for so long.
If someone's putting in the work, then they ought to be rewarded with recognition for it.
I ought to be happy for their success, especially if they're my friend. It doesn't say that I'm any less of a person to have someone I know crushing it and being successful.
There's absolutely no reason you should ever feel inadequate for where you are in life.
I understand society creates this illusion that you need to be
- finished with college by 22
- traveling by 25 and
- working a $60k job in your late twenties
...but the reality is, there is no perfect time for any of that. There's only a perfect time for you. And the best thing about that is, the perfect time is something you'll get to figure out for yourself.
Timelines are journeys that are unique to everybody, and I highly recommend you don't subscribe to a mode of thought that says otherwise.
Comparison is the killer, and "should" is its accomplice.
When you base your self-worth off of your position in life compared to those around you, you develop a very weak frame of mind. When you think like this, you start to do things not because you like them, but because it will give you some sort of edge over others.
One example of this would be choosing a higher-paying job that you don't really like over a decent-paying job that you just know you'll love doing. Even though there's literally no reason you need that higher-paying job, you still take it because you feel it's more prestigious and that you should take it.
People will say "You'd be stupid not to accept it" and this type of noise will clout your mind and you'll start to distrust the quality of your own opinion and choices.
If you think about it, what really is that extra $5k per year going to do for you? What the hell are you going to buy with that? If the choice is between an awesome $40k job and a shitty $45k job, is the shitty $45k job what's going to make you happy?
Just because other people are pursuing "prestigious" jobs at Fortune 500 companies and banks, is that what's going to make them happy? Is that what would make you happy?
Something to munch on.