How often do you catch yourself comparing your body, business or bank account to another? And how does that make you feel? For most, it leaves us feeling “less than” which is a total waste of our time and energy. Only dare to compare if it motivates and inspires you to grow to the next level. Otherwise, dare NOT to compare.
C’mon, we’ve all done it. You spy the attractive, put together individual in the perfect outfit discussing her latest business win and you immediately feel like the biggest slacker who walked the planet. Why? We contrast what we’re feeling inside to how another looks outside which is an unfair comparison. We make assumptions about their life, rather than recognize that they, too, struggle with their own limiting beliefs, challenges and self-doubts. For all you know, she’s going to bed each night stressing about meeting payroll, an upcoming project or whether she’s spending enough quality time with friends or family.
Too often when we compare, we only compare ourselves to the cream of the crop rather than the entire crop. For example, I can remember feeling like a total loser a few years back after reading the latest copy of Working Mother magazine. The cover girl made it all look so easy to run a company along with having over-achieving children, an adoring husband, and beautiful home. I was doing all I could that day after work to get a healthy meal on the table and provide homework support. Sure, if we only compare ourselves to the super achievers, we’re always going to walk away thinking we’re not enough, which is far from the truth. We need to acknowledge that we are doing OUR best daily and give ourselves credit for all our efforts.
I discourage my own teenage daughters from perusing fashion magazines where the models are air-brushed or nipped and tucked by a computer graphics program. Why allow your self-esteem to plummet when the picture on the page isn’t even the truth?
In truth, this “measuring-up” struggle is self imposed. What you should be is YOU based on your own criteria, not other people’s influences and opinions, not what is socially popular.
Take the time to look back over the past few years and notice all you have learned and accomplished. Have you gotten better at asking for what you want? Are your presentations more impactful? Has your client list grown? Do you zip around a particular computer program that you struggled with years earlier? Do you eat more greens? If so, give yourself a pat on the back, as it’s always okay to compare yourself to a previous amazing version of you.
What costly comparisons have held you back?