Following in the footsteps of someone who is exceptionally talented can be a daunting and intimidating prospect.

Whether it is with work where you take on the job of someone who is described as “invaluable” “a massive loss when they left” or “did so much for us” to having family or friends who are massive successes in your own right.

This can all put a bit of pressure on you where you will just feel inadequate and maybe even think “it’s not even worth trying – I will never be as good at them!”

The temptation is to quit or just be average at best and not care what other people say. But mediocrity is not the best approach to life.  There are other ways of making your own mark – even against someone who sounds like the second coming of Jesus Christ himself!Realisation

The first step to following in the footsteps of someone who appears brilliant is to realise that they are not a demi-god sent down to Earth to shame us all, but they are only human – and like all humans they are prone to errors with their own range of flaws and weaknesses.


Make your own mark

The next step is to brush aside the pressure of what someone else has done and make your own mark. Perhaps you have a successful family member and you get stuck with being the curse of being seen as successful person’s son/daughter/sister/brother.

You also may be highly influenced by your relative – you have seen them become a success in a particular area, so naturally you want to copy the same formula.

This is okay if you are genuinely interested in that area, but if you are only doing it with the intention of trying to do better, then it is much better to define your own life and focus your energy on something that interests you.

Use your strengths to define what you can offer

The impact of the footsteps you follow is undermining – people can’t help talk about how great the person you are following.  They don’t realise it, but it makes you feel inferior

In the case of working in business they may have been special in their own ways – perhaps they had a talent for managing people or constantly produced fabulously written pieces of work.

The temptation is to try and copy their formula – but the disadvantage is you may not be great with people and your written works lacks the same attention to detail.

Therefore you should focus on your own strengths – if you are an IT wiz use your abilities to simplify the system you are working in.  If you are creative come up with radical, new ideas that will challenge and impress others.

Be yourself

And finally most important of all – just be you. This is your life to live; you don’t have to feel the need to live up to expectations set by someone else.  Follow the path that interests you most.


Success is a subjective term – many measure it financially; how much money they make or how large a deal they just closed.

But others view success in their happiness, making others’ lives better, creating new things or living a life of memorable experiences.


In many ways following in the footsteps of someone else is just an illusion, a prison created by ourselves to feel inadequate and tell ourselves that we are not good enough.

Just by being yourself and living a fulfilling life you make yourself free.


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