Comparing yourself to your sibling

Comparing yourself to others is easy to do but rarely helpful. It’s particularly easy to do when an older sibling happens to be forging a path similar to yours. I myself still struggle to not constantly compare where I’m at in life, against where my older sister is at within her own life. 

To steal a trend from TikTok – Tell me, without telling me, how your older sibling set ridiculous expectations. I’ll start… 

My sister got straight into her bachelor’s after high school, completed her course in the standard three-year time frame, got a full-time industry job soon after graduation, and has been with that same company for seven years. 

And then it was my turn… let’s just say my path has looked nothing like hers, despite studying the same bachelor’s degree. 

But that’s ok. In fact, it’s more than ok! Because the signposts of success which line her path are entirely different to the signposts that line mine. And while she might seem further ahead than me, I’m exactly where I should be, equipped with entirely different experiences than her. 

In saying all of this, I know personally that not comparing yourself to others is easier said than done. So here are my top tips for dealing with your insanely annoying and inconvenient older sibling (sis, if you’re reading this, I swear you have good traits too…). 

#1 – Ask for advice… and then remember you don’t have to take it

If you’ve got a sibling or friend who’s crushing it, they can be an awesome source of advice. But their wisdom is coming from their own experiences, which are nothing like yours. 

Take what they say and apply it to your own situation, rather than comparing. For example, when an amazing job opportunity came up for me that would require dropping my uni load to part-time and extending my graduation date, my sister was understandably hesitant – she prioritised her studies over work for the length of her degree and recommended I do the same. Despite her advice, I took the job and am stiiiiiiill studying… and I’m loving it!

Instead of taking the word of others as gospel, just add them to your collection and always come back to your own gut feeling. 

#2 – Strive to achieve your goals, not the goals of others

This can be hard, particularly when you’re learning how to be independent. Although your parents were spot on when they told you not to play with power points, they aren’t experts on your career. Your parents may have always wanted you to be an engineer, or perhaps your older sibling followed that path and is crushing it, but if engineering isn’t for you… don’t do it!

Seek out advice (see Point #1), do primary research, even give something a go because someone else you know did it and you thought it looked good. But ultimately follow the path that’ll help you achieve your goals and no one else’s. 

#3 – Never create an ideal timeline based on someone else’s

If I consider my sister’s timeline the ideal way of doing things, I’m about four years behind schedule. Welp. 

But here’s the thing – there is no ‘right’ timeline. And this applies to everything, from your studies to relationships or financial achievements.

You will tick off certain things in life when you’re ready, or perhaps never at all. And that is perfectly fine. In life, there is no such thing as running behind. So ditch the idea of doing things by a certain age, and just focus on getting things done. 

I saw something on Insta the other day. It read “I’m 28, and if I start a four degree now, I won’t graduate until I’m 32. But in four years time, I’ll be 32 no matter what. So I might as well be a 32 year old working in an industry I love.”

And ain’t that gospel. 

This article was written by McKeeley, our Marketing Coordinator.