The Dangers of Comparing Yourself to Others
I remember when I first started my business over 10 years ago, I was guilty of always comparing myself to others and their success. I was just in the beginning stages of launching my first website and hosting a few family events. I would constantly feel so drained at the end of every event. I wasn’t just tired; I was mentally tired from all the things I would tell myself. I would be thinking of all the ways I could be like XYZ company. I honestly did not realize the harm it was doing to me; I would feel such a sense of not good enough that I was losing opportunities just because I didn’t believe in myself. What I mean is I would literally turn down big events because I didn’t have the confidence- I was too busy comparing myself to others instead of looking in at my true worth.
It wasn’t until I really started looking deeper into things to find out the reasons why I was feeling this way. I was stuck in the world of comparison. I knew I needed to get out of there, but I finally discovered the truth about how some people got their success and I thought “no way” that’s not me and never will be. I took each day one at time and decided to get out of that mindset and progress to move forward in my business. Once I decided, I practiced and continue to share how I overcame some of these setbacks. I met with other likeminded mompreneurs and realized I wasn’t alone, everyone has setbacks!
Comparing yourself to others is a reliable way to reduce your confidence, motivation, and self-esteem. It must be natural to make these types of comparisons, because nearly everyone does it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good move. I look at someone and I say wow, that person is great at public speaking but what I don’t see is the three hours that person spent talking to the mirror the night before. Everyone has their own way of overcoming their fears and getting past it.
If you want to become the best possible you, avoid comparing yourself to others.
There are several challenges that occur when you compare yourself to someone else:
- Everyone has a different starting point. You might be just learning to cok, but your friend has been cookng for 10 years. You can’t compare progress, results, or success unless the starting points are the same, and they never are. Everyone has a different schedule, lifestyle, and time to dedicate.
- Everyone has a different level of talent. Some people are born with a high IQ. Some people naturally have amazing hand-eye coordination. Others have a natural knack for math or singing. I might be great at seeing a room transformed with tables, linens, centerpieces and dance floor but someone else will only see “an empty room”
- The resources available to you and another person are different. If you want to play the violin and your father is in the music business, you have a huge advantage over someone born into a financially-challenged family that has no experience in music.
- We tend to compare ourselves to the best in the world. You don’t compare your Texas Hold’em skills to your neighbor the electrician. You compare yourself to the tournament winners. We don’t compare ourselves to the average. We compare ourselves to the best the world has to offer.
- There’s always someone better. There are only a handful of people that can make a reasonable claim to be the best at anything. There are nearly eight billion people in the world. That’s a lot of people you have to surpass to be the best.
It’s easy to see why making comparisons can be dangerous. There’s little to gain and too much risk. Comparing yourself to others doesn’t provide useful information. You’re only going to upset yourself, and that type of comparison isn’t fair in the first place.
Here’s what you can do instead:
- Compare yourself to yourself. A better option is to compare yourself to yourself. Pay attention to your progress over time. Notice your improvement. As long as you’re making headway, you have a good reason to be excited! Strive to become better each day. Be YOU, be true to yourself!
- Limit your exposure to social media. In theory, social media exists to connect people. In actuality, social media is often used as a way of showing off.
- You rarely get the real story. What you get is someone’s best attempt to make their life look better than it really is. Everyone, except you, seems to be living a spectacular life. It’s not true.
- Be cautious with social media. Most people report being happier when they removed social media from their lives.
I don’t use social media much, but I should as a blogger and business owner!
- Use the success of others as inspiration. The success of others can be useful to you. You can study how they became so successful. Their success can inspire you to become the best you can be. Just avoid comparing your success to theirs.
Always remember there is a lot of the behind the scenes that you don’t see and sometimes others don’t make the best decisions.
Do you compare yourself to others? Making this type of comparison can be detrimental to your confidence and self-esteem. Instead, compare your current version of yourself to the version of yourself from three months ago. Compare yourself to yourself!!!!! It becomes easy to see your progress or lack of progress.
The best comparison you can make is to your past self. Set a few goals and spend some time each day working on them. Get a new planner and make it happen! You’ll be happy when you see the progress you’ve made, and you’ll start to see a difference.
I will always encourage you to remember that we all must start somewhere. One of my mantras I follow on a daily basis to help create balance and appreciation of how far I’ve come is “ if you don’t show up for you then who will?”– Rafeea Roche. I applaud you for recognizing the dangers and working towards overcoming them as I have, it is a process and comparison will still arise for you on a daily basis just pay attention to how you choose to move through it! Only then, you will fall in love with the process of becoming you! Create a plan and follow it!