Comparatively Speaking

We always compare ourselves.

How are we doing compared to your colleague at work? How do we look compared to the celebrities we follow? Is that person’s Instagram picture more adorable than yours?

We compare ourselves because we feel that we are in some type of competition. For some reason, we think that if we can do better than those people to whom we are comparing ourselves, we will be successful. The problem with this thinking is twofold:

  1. If you compare ourselves to someone else, then we are setting their status as our finish line. Our comparison is built on the assumption that if we were better looking, more influential, or paid more, we will have arrived. This is wrong. If you compare yourselves to one aspect of another person, you won’t feel that you have arrived when you achieve equivalency. You will simply find another small sliver of that person, or another person, to compare yourself to. You will always be working on crossing a finish line that someone else has already passed.
  2. Your finish line is not their finish line. If you are looking to achieve what that person has already finished, or if you are hoping to cross a finish line that is their goal, you are playing their game. You need to play the game that you are uniquely built for. Your experience, qualifications, passions, perspective means that your finish line will be slightly different than anyone else in the world. There are many actors in the world, but not everyone’s career looks like Julia Roberts or George Clooney. There are plenty of actors who are happy in their roles on broadway, off-broadway, or in community troupes around the world.

Don’t let comparison drag you down. Follow your own path. Learn from others. Cheer others when they succeed and be happy with your success. Always be hungry, but be hungry for the progress that is unique to you, not to that is better because you can compare yourself to someone else.