I’m not 100% sure of a lot of things in life, but I am 100% sure that the best way to kill your motivation and your confidence is to compare yourself to someone else. I am guilty of this every single day. Without fail, the minute I slip into comparison mode the negative self-talk begins and I beat myself up. On bad days, I may wallow in that mode for the rest of the day. On good days, I may only stay there for a few minutes. But every day I find myself there.
The comparison trap isn’t really our fault. We are driven by ego. And the ego wants to be number one, therefore it has no choice but to get caught up in a never-ending game of comparing itself to others. The ego does this in an attempt to make accurate evaluations of itself.
But at what cost?
At first glance, comparisons may seem to be a good thing. You might think that it provides motivation for us to be better. But, in reality, the opposite happens. Think about it, when you see a picture of a super-fit person does it motivate you to get super-fit or does it cause you to beat yourself up for not being fit and then go eat a bag of Oreos? When you see a really successful business woman does it inspire you to work harder or does it make you feel less accomplished and full of self-doubt?
Ultimately, comparisons do nothing more that zap our motivation and decrease the chance we will accomplish something.
Comparisons can be very damaging to our sense of self and our self-worth. Research shows that comparing ourselves to others leaves us with feelings of envy, low self-confidence, and depression.
Why are others a bad benchmark to use for measuring our own worth?
Everyone one of us is on a different journey that is unique to us. All of our experiences both in life and business have a different sequence. And my sequence is going to be different than yours. Comparing your success to someone else’s success, your pace and progress to someone else’s, and your ways and approaches to others’ will do nothing but confirm that you are different from them – not less than them.
Not to mention the fact that things aren’t always what they seem. People usually present an edited version of their reality. So, whether you are comparing what you see on social media or you are making assumptions based upon the way they present themselves at a networking event, you are likely not getting an accurate picture of where they really are in their business or career. There is no way to tell if they really have it all together or are a hot mess behind the scenes. Or if they closed their most recently launched program because it’s full with five people or full with 500 people. That’s what makes comparisons so dangerous.
I tell my clients all of the time that the only comparisons they should be making are:
· Am I further along today than I was yesterday?
· Am I doing the very best that I can?
When you catch yourself in the midst of comparing yourself to another, celebrate their success and accomplishments. Then, ask yourself the two questions above, celebrate your success and accomplishments, put your blinders on, your head down, and keep moving forward knowing you are exactly who and where you should be.