A Beginner’s Guide to Living in Someone’s Shadow

By Elena

As a younger sister, something I’ve always struggled with is living in my older brother’s shadow. We have similar interests, and as a result I get dubbed as mini him. I love my older brother, however being his younger sister is really, really hard. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with being in someone’s shadow, so I’ve decided to put together a few tips on how I manage. 

Photo by Umberto Shaw on Pexels.com

Know your worth

You aren’t defined as your relationship to someone else. Although I’ve experienced a lot of people comparing me to others, and have made me feel like my achievements only matter if they’re greater than someone else’s, that isn’t the truth.

You are amazing, even if other people don’t see it. I promise you, you have worth. You are important and you are loved. You are enough. You don’t have to go chasing someone else’s goals to have worth.

Diversify yourself

Do something that isn’t related to what the person who’s shadow you’re in does. For example, although my brother and I both do debate and science olympiad, I also do dance and baton twirling, as well as this blog. 

By diversifying yourself from them, you have a way out of always being a shadow. You have a group of people who don’t think of you in relation to someone else. 

Of course, I don’t mean do stuff for the sake of doing something different. No, you should always do what you enjoy doing. All I’m saying is it can sometimes be good to have something that’s yours.

Work hard

Although it can be discouraging, use the shadow as motivation for yourself. Do what you can to get out of the shadow if it bothers you. Become better than the person who’s shadow you’re in.

This can be extremely hard to do, but don’t get discouraged. Set goals for yourself that are reasonable. The only thing you can do is to work hard in the face of adversity. Just by working hard, you will be remembered for you and for no one else.

Don’t get discouraged

It can be really hard to get discouraged, but don’t. There will come a day where you grow out of being a shadow. You will get there, it just might take some time and/or some work.

Just believe in yourself. Even when it seems hard, it will all work itself out and be ok. Getting discouraged is absolutely the worst thing you can possibly do.

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