Growing up with older siblings who have accomplished a lot in their lives can be difficult. Believe me, I know from first-hand experience. I have not one, but two older brothers who both became doctors, and they’ve definitely set high standards for me. Here are some tips I’ve picked up from dealing with being in the shadow of super achieving older siblings.
1. Set Your Own Standards!
You don’t need to let your older sibling’s standards rule your life. If you make your own goals, you’ll be motivated to do your best for yourself. Try making a dream book filled with pictures and lists of things you wish to accomplish along with a date for when you want to accomplish them. Make sure to create both long-term and short-term goals so that you know you’re always working towards the bigger picture.
2. Consider Perspectives
Often times, our families unconsciously pressure us to follow in an older sibling’s footsteps. No matter how sincere your family’s motives are, the standards themselves can be positive or negative. Remember to look at the situation in different ways. Are these standards for your own benefit? Will they help you achieve your goal? Is anyone pressuring you to live up to your sibling’s standards? Is your family doing it for your own well-being? Will you be able to accept these standards in the long run?
You need to accept that there will always be someone better than you at something. In this case, your older sibling is that someone who is better than you at certain things. Keep it light-hearted by accepting and not resenting other people’s accomplishments. By accepting your sibling’s work, you’ll be able to work towards your own goals all the better.
4. Talk to Someone
Trying to live up to your older sibling’s standards can breed many consequences, such as sibling rivalry and stress. These consequences may even cause health risks. Stop the problem from getting too serious by talking to someone you trust. Get relief from your problems by sharing them with a confidant, be it a friend, a parent, a teacher or a counsellor.