Constant Comparison Is Sabotaging Your Success
There’s only one case of comparing to others that can help us aspire to greatness. For example, having a person who’s achieved great accomplishments as a personal inspiration or role model can be good for us. But that’s not how most of us compare ourselves to others. It’s human nature to compare just about everything to everything else. The human psyche is a judging psyche, constantly evaluating all aspects of the environment. However, when we compare ourselves to other people, constant disappointment is going to be the outcome. There’ll always be those with more or less than us.
Still, the tendency to judge ourselves using other people as our measuring stick is destructive. Consider this: no two people are the same. No matter how similar they are in character, intelligence, and circumstances, they are not identical, ever. Even identical twins have some genetic variances.
Young people, especially teenagers, compare themselves to each other to get a sense of normalcy. They want to figure out where they “rank” among their peers. This is a fallacy of the young, as there’s really no such thing as “normal,” just a series of averages and only for the things that can be counted.
For people of all ages, consider:
- A fair comparison would require an objective unit of measure. However, there’s no such thing when we are talking about human beings. Is a person’s income a measure of their worth? Of course not. Number of cars? No. Facebook friends? Again, no. These aren’t valid measures.
- The self-minimizing fallacy defeats us. We tend to use the worst about ourselves and compare it to the imagined best of someone else.
- Comparisons tend to nullify our unique nature. We can’t compare ourselves to people we can never be, who likewise could never be us.
- Comparisons cause worry and worry is the thief of both time and mental energy.
- People are unique. Even though you might not see how unique you are, a comparison between you and others can never ever be accurate.
- Comparing ourselves to others prevents us from learning to take joy and pleasure in our own accomplishments.
How To Overcome Comparing Yourself To Others
- Consider how comparing yourself to others has harmed you. It’s probably a long list. Make a list of anything good that all this comparing has done. Is it a long list? No! Comparing yourself to others doesn’t inspire us to do great things.
- Give yourself credit for all your successes. Success isn’t simply something huge like winning a Nobel Prize. It’s everything you do that you work for. People are typically much tougher on themselves than others, so give yourself the credit that you deserve.
- Develop gratitude. Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so work on it. Count what you have, not what you don’t.
- Be kind to yourself and others. Comparing yourself unfavorably to others can create resentment.
- If you must compare, compare yourself to yourself. Like we noted above, making progress towards goals is enjoyable if we give ourselves the credit we deserve.