Comparing things has a purpose, a definite usefulness in our lives. Like anything, however, it can be used in a helpful way or in a destructive one. If we’re talking about comparing prices, or quality of an item when making a purchase, that’s helpful. When we start comparing our progress, growth and success to others, it can leave us with a complex that doesn’t serve us in any way, shape or form.
Whether you grow up with siblings or not, no one is immune to being compared to others. Regardless of what the comparison is about, when we’re young it isn’t long before we start to wonder why we aren’t good enough just the way we are. Why did we need to be like anyone else? Aren’t we special enough?
Of course, there were times, even as children when we’re on the winning side of the comparison game. Whether it was the highest mark on a test or project, we felt, because we feel that those marks meantwe were “better than” our classmates. If we’re not careful the need to outdo others can carry more meaning than the task itself. As we get older and become employees the comparison game is often about out-performing our colleagues or whoever we consider to be competition for whatever goal it is we’re working towards.
The great news is that as our awareness expands, we can use the comparison game as a positive thing. Instead of using it to make us feel “less than” or inadequate, we can use it for inspiration. Rather than coming from a place of envy, wondering why others have been able to achieve something that we haven’t yet, look at it as motivation. They’ve done it, it is possible, and what we can learn from their success are the thoughts that we should consider.
We’re not working to be better than anyone else. We should focus on being better than we were the day before. It’s about really taking the time to acknowledge the growth and development that we have achieved and continuously looking for ways to improve. Comparing ourselves to others in a way that disempowers us is unproductive. The reality is that unless you know the people you’re comparing yourself to personally, you have no idea what it took for them to achieve their success. Even when we have a personal connection with someone, we don’t always know the full story unless they choose to share it with us.
If comparing yourself to others is motivating and inspiring you, then by all means, keep doing it. If comparing yourself to others is making you feel insignificant and unworthy of the success that the others are achieving, then it’s time to stop doing it! Start to focus on how much you’re improving and growing every day. Your journey and experiences are unique to you, so your path to success will be yours to establish. You don’t have to be better than anyone else; you just need to continue to be the best you that you can be.