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?The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else?s highlight reel? ? Steve Furtick
Have you even caught yourself going through a blogger?s Instagram looking at how perfect professionally shot pictures look are as opposed to your iPhone shots?
Have you ever looked at someone else?s success and thought you weren?t doing enough because you haven?t reached their level of success?
If you have you?re not alone.
I?m a pro when it comes to comparisons. I?m always comparing myself to the next person trying to measure my success to others in an effort to validate my hard work or lack of.
Instead of just focusing on my progress and my progress only, I get caught up in what other people are doing and the progress they?ve made.
What ends up happening is I get jealous, I start to think that maybe if I had the same resources as them I would be in the same position or maybe if I was a little taller I would get to have the same opportunities.
All this does is set me back. It does absolutely nothing but keep me from doing my work.
If you?re like me stop comparing yourself to other people. Stop using other people?s level of success as a checkpoint for your own.
You don?t see Lebron James comparing himself to Michael Jordan. You don?t see Oprah comparing herself to Larry King. You don?t see Stephen Colbert comparing himself David Letterman.
Because they are too busy focusing on perfecting their craft to worry about living up to the greatness of those who came before them. They let the people make the comparisons.
If they worried about what other people were doing they wouldn?t become greats we know today and the only comparison they would hear is the one between their own ears.
So if you?ve been comparing yourself to others stop it.
You can?t help that some people got lucky nor change who you are to be successful. All this does is make you jealous. Instead focus on what you already have, reflect on your accomplishments and show a bit of gratitude.
Why You Shouldn?t Play The Comparison Game
Life isn?t fair, some people just get lucky
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Many of us weren?t blessed with great looks or perfect bodies, most of us aren?t athletic enough to be a professional athlete and a lot of us don?t have the brains to cure diseases or come up with new technologies that will revolutionize the world.
The fact of the matter is some people are just lucky. Some people have been blessed with certain opportunities, talents, and resources to help them get to where they are at.
On the other hand, some were simply blessed with ambition and a mindset to push themselves harder than anyone else.
We all different and have our own unique gifts and talents. Just because someone has a talent that you don?t doesn?t make them any better than you.
Guess what? You have talents that they don?t.
Too often we try to compare our talents to everyone else?s thinking that our success is based on our abilities when in actuality your success has more to do with what you do with your talents and less about the talents themselves.
?What about the people who were born rich? What about the people whose parents are celebrities and don?t have to work hard??
Life isn?t fair.
We were dealt a hand and we have to play it to the best of our ability. Some of us have been dealt a better hand than others and that?s ok.
The great thing about a card game is that you have a chance to pluck. You have a chance to alter the hand you were dealt in order to better your odds of winning.
You can?t change who you are
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No matter what you do you cannot change who you are. No number of sex changes or plastic surgeries are going to change what?s on the inside
You can get a million and one different operations done and you still wouldn?t be Beyonce.
You could replace every last limb and ligament and you still couldn?t be Michael Jordan.
You could even replace your vocal cords and still couldn?t compete with Whitney Houston.
Because while you may alter your outward appearance it will not impact who you are on the inside.
Beyonce isn?t a Queen because she looks like one, Whitney isn?t a great singer because of her vocal cords, and Jordan isn?t one of the best basketball players of all time because he could fly.
They are who they are because of what?s inside of them. They didn?t look to change who they were instead they used what they already had and made the most of it.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
When we compare ourselves to others eventually we will get jealous of what they have or what they can do.
But jealousy is dangerous.
The only thing that jealousy does is prevent us from reaching our full potential.
Jealously convinces us that someone out there is better than us. Jealousy makes us think we have to be like someone else in order to become successful. Jealously convinces us that our efforts simply won?t cut it because we aren?t someone else.
But jealousy is a liar.
He tells us things that simply aren?t true. Jealousy tries to throw us off our game, off focus and off course. But we can?t let him succeed. We can?t let him get inside our heads and convince us that we have to be like someone else in order to win in life.
We have to stay focused on own course and stop comparing ourselves to others.
Do This Instead
Focus on improving yourself
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?Comparison with myself brings improvement, comparison with others brings discontent? ? Betty Jamie Chung
When we are too busy focusing on other people?s accomplishments we leave no time to work on ourselves.
Too many of us spend too much looking at other people?s path to success we forget to travel our own. We get caught in looking out the window sightseeing and forget to keep eyes on the road in front of us.
We get distracted by what?s going on to the left and the right of us that we can?t focus on what?s ahead.
How can we make any progress if we?re always making pit stops to check out the scenery?
When you focus on improving yourself you only worry about one thing and one thing only; you. You don?t have time to be preoccupied with what?s going on around you because you?re too busy focusing on putting one foot in front of the other.
When we stop comparing ourselves to other people we can begin to put one foot in front of the other and start making some progress.
?But what if progress is slow??
Your speed doesn?t matter forward is forward.
As long as you?re progressing it doesn?t matter how fast you go eventually you will reach your goal. If you wrote one article today, two articles next week, and three the week after that you?ve done your job. You?ve made progress.
Too often we get discouraged because we didn?t reach our goal to lose 15 lbs, our profits didn?t accumulate to as much we thought or we didn?t get through as many books as we would have liked.
It doesn?t matter.
The only thing that matters is that you are a better version of yourself than you were the day before. If you lost 5 lbs you?ve made progress. If you made $10,000 more than last year you?ve made progress. If you read seven more books than last year you?ve made progress.
Remember your accomplishments
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When we compare ourselves to others we forget all the things we?ve accomplished. We end up focusing on what another person has achieved and put their accomplishments on a pedestal.
I?ve done this a lot.
As a small-time influencer, I compare my stats to other bloggers thinking that I needed to have at 50k followers to be a big-time influencer or that I needed 1,000 likes on a picture.
But I have to remind myself that for the number of followers I have I get a good amount of engagement. When most influencers only receive engagement from 2%-4% of their followers on average I can get somewhere between 8% and 17%.
And since my two years as an influencer, I?ve doubled my followers, had two collaborations, and have been featured on the Instagram pages of several businesses.
If I were being honest with myself I would say that I?ve accomplished a lot. Unfortunately I?m not so kind as to give myself a pat on the back for making little steps. I?m not brave enough to acknowledge that over the past two years I?ve gained attention, inspired people and built a loyal following.
Instead, I?d rather be hard on myself because I think that?s what makes me tough and that?s what will make me successful. I refuse to come to grips with the progress I?ve made because then I would be ?soft?.
Regardless of how much praise I get from people, I refuse to reflect on what I have accomplished and be ?reduced to positive self-talk?.
I have to be hard on myself. The past doesn?t matter, only the present. I don?t care about what I did two years ago, the only thing that matters is the future.
But this mentality isn?t good.
At times I need to give myself a pat on the back, I need to appreciate the progress I?ve made, and I need to acknowledge what I have accomplished in the past two years.
Photo by Katya Austin on Unsplash
While it?s great to be looking forward to bigger and better things it?s never a good idea to forget previous accomplishments.
Because although you may not be happy with where you are currently it?s still a big step from where you started. Think about it, several years ago you had 0 followers, 0 readers, and 0 listeners.
Now you have a following and a pretty damn good one.
You might not have 2 million followers like @iamgalla, thousands of claps on Medium like @ztrana, or millions of listeners like Tim Ferris but that?s ok, you?re making progress.
Stop measuring yourself against these content celebrities. The only thing that matters is that you?ve grown.
Reflect on what YOU have accomplished and pat yourself on the back. Hell, throw a party for you and you only because you?ve made progress and accomplished a few things along the way.
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?Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation? ? Brain Tracy
These days I keep a Panda Planner that I use to map out my monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
For the daily section, it begins with a morning review that asks what I?m grateful and what I?m excited about.
Before using this planner I shyed away from writing about what I was grateful for each morning because I thought it would be the same thing each day.
I was wrong.
When I started writing in my Panda Planner I noticed that I had something new to be thankful for every day and it usually wasn?t anything big.
I would write about things I was grateful such as, ?meeting new people and having good conversations?, ?people who support my blog? and ?people who think enough of me to ask for advice?.
By starting my day off by what I was grateful for I realized that what really made the most impact in our lives are the little things.
It didn?t take a photoshoot in Italy like the big time influencers, a hundred more claps than another person on Medium, or 50 more likes than another blogger on a post on Instagram for me to be grateful for something.
When I stopped comparing myself to others, I began to realize how much I?ve been blessed by the little things in life.
As a society, we have a tendency to compare what we have to what others have and as a result, we begin to loathe our everyday lives.
But how do we know that the person we are comparing ourselves with is really happy with ?more?? Are their possession more valuable compared to our intangibles? How do we know they don?t want what we have?
You?ve probably never asked these questions but the answer can always be found in the latest headlines.
Kate Spade, fashion designer, found dead in apparent suicide
Kate Brosnahan Spade, the fashion designer and businesswoman, hanged herself in an apparent suicide Tuesday at a?
How Robin Williams was being torn apart and couldn’t fight back
Robin Williams struggled to remember his lines. This was unusual for the hyperverbal, Oscar-winning actor, and it hit?
Stop being jealous of others and appreciate what you have. Just because the grass looks greener on the other side doesn?t mean it is because what may seem like a field of healthy green-space may actually be a field of weeds.
Thanks for reading.