Most times, intentionally or unknowingly, we sabotage our lives by correlation.
“Raymond is doing that, and Hannah is working there.”
“Jeffery is in the news, and Daniel is a hotshot. And see my life. Miserable!”
You’re right. But your life is only miserable because in your mind it is.
The foolishness of trying to measure up to others is in the fact that there is no end to your failure to succeed. Just when you think you have measured up to some person(s), there would always be some others ahead of you.
As long as your reference is someone else, you will always feel less. There will always be someone better than that person in some way. In comparing ourselves with everyone else, we shoot for many goal posts, never hitting any.
Comparison with others is a deadly two-edged sword, each side of the sword dangerous to the one who wields it. There are always two groups of people on your comparison spectrum: The ones you are better than and the ones that are better than you. And no matter what your parameters are, you will always have people on both sides.
Quickly, let us investigate the traps of contrasting yourself and these two groups, shall we?
THE ONES BETTER THAN YOU:
We often put ourselves in a trap when we begin to judge our successes with the strides of those who have gone ahead of us. We end up always feeling we will never be as good as them. Every great person started somewhere and worked to the top. So learn to appreciate the progressive increase in your capacity. Focus on how you are growing, not how others are far ahead of you. Great achievers learn to learn from others without entering into a race with them.
THE ONES YOU ARE BETTER THAN:
When we constantly measure ourselves against those we perform better than, we enter into a cycle of constantly settling for results below our best.
Nobody made the ‘C’ you made in that course, but C is not the best you could have gotten.
Everybody on the athletic team sees you as a beast in sprint races because you constantly dust them, but the best time you ever clocked happened last year.
Get off that trap!
Reach out for your best!
Your greatest competition is YOU!
Your story is not a sub-plot of another person’s great story.
Set your own bar, ensure it is not mediocre.
FOCUS ON YOUR LADDER, and work at it. Each time it gets easier, regardless of everyone else, increase it a little more. The competition is always WITHIN, not without. Your greatest obstacle is your own mind.
- I know your friends are making waves while you are picking up your pieces. I’ve been there.
- I know the ones who looked up to you now have followers you look up to. It’s okay, just keep at your own story.
- I know you can’t resist looking over at the headlines of others. Relax and write your own story. You can’t make your own headlines with another man’s story.
Keep digging at the gold mines inside of you. But always remember, you are your own reference point. Focus on beating the man you are today.
Learn something new. Acquire a new skill. Try a new method.
And don’t let the pressure to become another person drive you into unrealistic goals that will reinforce a failure mentality in you.