Why You Should Stop
Comparing Yourself to Others
Are you still wasting time and energy comparing yourself to others?
Well, I hate to be blunt, but you should bloody well stop then.
Allow me to elaborate: there are approximately six billion of us wonderful human beings on this lovely little planet of ours. To be blunt, there’s a fair few (billion) raging egos to deal with in that group.
Odds are, there are some crazy mo’ fo’s somewhere on the planet who are insanely trying to be the best at whatever you’re currently trying to be the best at. They work harder, for longer, and they do it more intelligently than you. Some have got 5 or 10 years head-start over you. Some are born into money which speeds up their progress. Some have got the balls to risk it all now to ensure their success. Some are just born lucky. Some may have bionic arms and legs and super-intelligent robot brains (I’m speculating now).
Let me be the bearer of some uncharacteristically down-cast news: No matter what you do; no matter how obscure the skill you are trying to perfect; no matter how many hours you put into the mastery of your chosen career or hobby – it’s likely that someone, somewhere, will still be better at it than you.
So, why do you insist on measuring your success by comparing yourself to others?!
Comparing yourself to others is a sure-fire way to balls up all your progress and undermine any and all feelings of success. Obviously, it’s a bit of a monumental waste of time, as someone else’s actions have very little bearing on what you are capable of.
Can you think of very many people who are genuinely the UNDISPUTED BEST at what they do? I’m thinking of Michael Jordan in his prime (and even that is debatable now, what with Kobe and Lebron and a hundred others coming through). Do you think Michael sat at home panicking that someone, somewhere, sometime could eventually be better than him? I doubt it. From reading his memoirs, and watching countless interviews with him, he comes across as a man that was dedicated to being the best he could be – and nothing more. If a man as successful as MJ doesn’t waste time comparing himself to others, why should you?
Comparing yourself to others is an unchecked act of fear from the ego. Your ego is the raging little voice in your head that is constantly trying to make you feel bigger and better than other people – that judgmental bastard who is trying to reiterate 24/7 that you’ve got this life thing sussed out, and everyone else is a fool (basically).
The thing is, no matter what you achieve, and even (especially) if you do “become the best”, your ego will never let up. It will then become scared that you’ll lose your new-found glory. The ego is life’s biggest Catch 22; so overcome it, ignore it, stop caring what it says...as soon as you can. You’ll never make the fucker happy.
Comparing yourself to others makes life into a competition, where scarcity rules: there can only ever be one “winner”. This is de-motivating and debilitating. Even if your goal is simply to be the best performing sales person in your organisation, what happens when your boss recruits a new international sales star? Or a current member of staff ups his game? Well, what happens is you allow your feelings of happiness and success to become dependent on what other people are doing, which in turn produces feelings of jealousy and insecurity and resentment. Worst of all, you end up missing enjoying the uplifting feelings of being the best you can be, and you miss out on all the fun and pride of pushing yourself to your own limits and growing as a human being.
Comparing yourself to others is a monumental waste of time; however it’s almost burned into our genetics, at least here in the West.
Here’s what you could try: focus only on yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others. Notice any little improvement that YOU make, and enjoy that. Realise deeply (
meditate on it
if that helps) that your best is absolutely good enough, no matter what the external results. Enjoy the feelings of achievement and success as you continually up your game and become even better than you ever imagined you could be. Life is your game, and you’re doing the best you can. What more could you ask for?
I hope you realise just how empowering this slight shift of perspective could be. Practice it: the next time you catch a thought where you are comparing yourself to others, STOP and replace it with a thought about YOUR goals and YOUR desires. Give yourself back the power to succeed and feel happy and stretch yourself to your own limits.
The only exception to this rule is if you are genuinely using someone’s experience or achievements as “proof” that you can achieve your goals. This is called “modelling” in
and it’s a good way to stay on track for audacious goals. For example, there are a few personal development website owners who are earning 6 figures and helping hundreds of thousands of people a year, and I am using their success as “proof” that I can do the same. What I’m not doing is comparing my current levels of traffic and income to them – I assure you that this would make me miserable! I’m doing the best that I can do to write compelling, thoughtful articles, and pushing myself to do better every day. That’s it. What they do has very little impact on me. They are just showing me that it really can be done.
Recognise deeply that you can only do your best. Who gives a fuck if it’s not good enough to compete with six billion other egos?
The only person keeping score is you.
Just do your best, and enjoy the bloody ride. 99% of people aren’t happy and fulfilled – so why on earth are you comparing yourself to them??
PS - I use Isochronic Tones to help me relax, become centred, and focus my thinking. They help you to install new beliefs and stop worrying about what other people think. Find out more
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