Whether it’s sports, business, art, or life as a whole, comparing yourself to other people is actually a waste. It may seem like a logical thing to do in attempts to better your game or just to better yourself in general but going about it in this way comes with some headaches and limitations you otherwise could avoid.
There’s another way you can go about bettering yourself and it may be the simple tweak in thinking you’ve been looking for to place you on a higher plane of achievement. Once you come to understand this tweak, you’ll be able to say also that you no longer care to compare yourself to others. But first, here are 5 reasons why comparing is a waste of time…
1. It Can Lead To Self Doubt
When looking at what other people have done—especially if it’s good work—it can cause you to second guess your own abilities. When comparing yourself to people who are doing what you want to do, it can cause you to see your inadequacies in a self loathing manner, causing you to feel self pity.
Thinking this way can make you doubt your abilities to even be as good as the people you are comparing yourself to. Not taking into account the time they put in on their craft or their background that led them to their current state of thinking, you begin to doubt if you are capable of achieving the same things.
2. You Can Cause Yourself Stress
Trying to keep up or do better than someone else can cause you to stress over every action you take. There’s a difference between striving to be a better you and trying to be better than someone else. In the latter case, you are continually looking at what the other person is doing and you are attempting to match them or outperform them.
The constant comparing means that you never come to a point of feeling accomplished. You are always on the defense because you are always scanning and seeing who’s doing what. There’s always something else that’s been done that you now have to mimic. This can be a stressful never ending cycle.
3. Always Someone Better
No matter how much you compare, by your own competitive spirit, and who you achieve more than, there is always someone better than you. It’s no way around it. The world is so rich with different individualities of people who have so many different areas of strength, that it’s no way that you could ever be the absolute best of the best. Knowing this, it’s ridiculous to continually compare yourself to every single person that comes in your life. There are some things you are better at than others and in vice versa. It’s best to put the comparisons aside and focus on what you want to accomplish.
4. It Can Be Counterproductive
The more you’re focusing on the comparisons between you and others, the less time you’re actually putting in to better yourself. All that energy going into looking at others could be invested into progressing forward in your own journey. When doing what you can do, if you are constantly stopping to look up and see what other people are doing, you are distracting yourself. You are slowing down your progress by pausing to see where others are.
When taking into account the previous 3 reasons, these 3 can lead you into a slump. Not wanting or caring to do anything because it’s seems to be too big of a task to ever match up; or you’re so drained and stressed out to continue your work. All of this can lead to inaction which is very counterproductive.
5. You Set Up Limitations For Yourself
When you are comparing yourself, you are placed into a imitation mindset, where you are only focused on doing what someone else has done or doing it slightly better. This limits your vision of what can be done and to think beyond the physical evidence that’s laid out in front of you.
You are not striving to do your best work, you are actually attempting to do enough work to stack up against the people around you. Whatever people are doing when you compare yourself to them, your main goal is to imitate what they are doing— and maybe with that imitation, you try to do it just a little better. This imitation mindset limits you to only being able to do what you see instead of being extraordinary and doing something that’s never been done before.
For Better Results, Try This
Here is an alternative way you could go about bettering yourself. Instead of continuously comparing yourself to others, have a creation mindset. Have in your own mind exactly what you want to accomplish and focus solely on achieving that.
By doing this, you will find that you are more productive because there’s nothing to divide your attention. You are not looking at what others are doing; taking time to see how they are doing it; learning for yourself how to mimic it and so on. You are only moving in the direction of what you want.
You also relieve stress because you do not feel the pressure of having to be as good as someone else. You allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment when you achieve what you had in mind. You know that this is what you wanted and it’s exactly what you got.
Having the creation mindset, you understand that everyone is different and there’s always someone better so that’s not your center of attention. You know you have gifts that others don’t and all you want to do is grow those gifts to better aid in your high achievement.
Instead of being limited to what you see from others, you let your imagination soar and attempt to do greater things. This is one of the very few times ignorance can be bliss because not knowing what others think is possible, you try things that are normally not tried giving you different and possibly more exciting results. You create your own path towards your accomplishments and on this path you allow yourself to do your best work.
Discussion: Was there ever a time you were unaware of the “industry standard” and you accomplished something in a way no one was expecting as a result?
Have you ever, one day, just stop caring about comparing yourself to someone else and went for the goals you wanted? Did you recognize a difference in feeling?