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How to Stop Feeling Guilty Over Others’ Accomplishments


Wait, what? How to stop feeling guilty over others’ accomplishments?

Aren’t we more commonly jealous, envious, or resentful over other people’s success?

Maybe. However, when we see others succeeding while we’re NOT succeeding, we feel a little guilty, too — especially if we feel there’s something we can do about it. After all, if that person makes the time, energy, and determination to accomplish their goals, well…why aren’t we?

Well, there is something we can do about it, but we have to get rid of the guilt, first.

1. Work at Your Own Pace

First and foremost, you are your own person. You have your own needs, wants, and desires. You live and are responsible for your own life, and if training for a half-marathon or making it to a yoga class doesn’t fit into your schedule today, tomorrow, or next week, so be it. No one’s saying you don’t have to work for what you want, but you don’t have to work for it at someone else’s pace. No one’s keeping score but you, and you set that score.

2. Be Inspired by Others

On that note, if you find yourself waning, look to others for inspiration. Instead of feeling guilty about what they’re accomplishing, feel inspired that you can succeed, too. If you feel comfortable, ask that person for tips. How do they manage their time? Who helps them? Where do they get their inspiration?

3. Understand the Balancing Act

Just because someone else is achieving goals you want to achieve (but aren’t yet) doesn’t mean that person’s life is perfect all around. We all have our problems or areas that could use improvement. Realize that we’re all human, and sometimes being superduper excellent in one area means settling for superduper okay in another. Balance your priorities and plan how to achieve your goals from there.

4. Be Grateful for YOUR Accomplishments

Hey, you have some things you’ve accomplished, too. Maybe you’re a great family member or friend. Maybe you’ve won awards for work achievements or community involvement. Maybe — just maybe — you got off the couch today for the first time in weeks. Whatever it is, feel grateful for it.

5. Pay It Forward

Once you learn how to be grateful for your own accomplishments, pay it forward. Help inspire others. High-five someone on the track. Be welcoming to others who’re nervous about their first yoga class. Congratulate someone on their first 5K. Just as others’ accomplishments have affected you, your accomplishments can affect others. Make sure it’s in a positive way.

How about YOU, readers? Has another person’s accomplishments ever made YOU feel guilty? How did you — or do you — deal with it? We’d love to hear your extra advice in the comments below!

How to Stop Feeling Guilty Over Others’ Accomplishments

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2014). How to Stop Feeling Guilty Over Others’ Accomplishments. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 2 Dec 2014
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