Too often – not all the time – we compare ourselves to others:”Ah I am not so smart”. “I cannot do that”. “I will never be that good”. “I wish I had”.
We compare ourselves to others and measure our lives with the measures of others. This only creates frustration and disappointment. To make it even more interesting, we should ask: Who decides that we are failures, because we cannot do the stuff others do? That we have not achieved the things others have? We do. So we decide whether we are successes or failures. We set the “bar” for what is bad, ok or great. So the only one who can make us feel bad is: Ourselves. It is not the neighbour, it is not the team mate or colleague, it is ourselves. I am not arguing that we should set mediocre standards. I am saying that we decide what is acceptable and we decide whether we want to work on improving to reach what we decide is an acceptable or great standard.
Sepi Tajima has written a nice article about how we compare our selves to others.
Sepi writes about Comparisons that sucks:
- Comparing your “reality” against other people’s “apparent reality”.
- Comparing your “beginning” with someone else’s “middle or end”.
- Comparing or being compared with things you “don’t really care about”.
- Comparing or being compared in areas you have “no power to change”.
And fortunately also add’s something about comparisons that rocks:
- Comparing yourself to your “previous version” in an uplifting way.
- Comparing yourself to those you “truly admire”
- Comparing yourself to those in “harder situations”
- Comparing or being compared in areas you “care about and can change”.
I especially subscribe to the first one: Comparing to your “previous version”. This one is for me the essential one.