The Danger of Comparing Yourself To Others

To me, this is probably one of the things that every individual I see in my practice does.  It truly is a thing that each and every person suffers from, namely comparing themselves to others.  People compare their lives, their status, their achievements, their success, literally to everyone else that has achieved something "better", "bigger" or what they consider to be "more significant".  We have gotten so used to comparing ourselves to others, this self-judgement has become deeply ingrained in our subconscious because we have done it so many times we don't need to "consciously" say to ourselves: "OK, I will now start the process of comparing myself to X and Y".  Is has become a very bad habit for most of us.

Unfortunately, the only way to stop comparing yourself to others is through hard work and consciously deciding not to do it when the need arises.  This takes time: bear in mind you have been comparing yourself to others for years, maybe decades. It won't take you years to "unlearn" this self-destructive habit, but with dedication and perseverance you'll be amazed at how quickly you can improve.

What makes this process of "unlearning" easier, is to get some perspective.  I came across a truly brilliant article by James Clear, where he talks about the wisdom of Martha Graham.  For those of you who don't know who Martha is (neither did I before James Clear introduced me): she is the ballet choreographer equivalent of Pablo Picasso (hopefully you'll know who he is).

To quote Martha from James Clear's article:

It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.

To give you some quick context: The quote above was taken out of a larger quote where Martha gives advice to a friend.  The friend was expressing her frustration to Martha as to why the world regarded work of hers she thought was amazing as just mediocre. And we all do this.  We achieve something or do work we think is brilliant and then the feedback we get from other people is disappointing.

I too, on a daily basis, experience this pitfall of feeling "not good enough".  I encourage you to go and read James Clear's full article as I found it very inspiring and it gave me some much needed perspective.

At the end of the day: Just do your best.  You have a wonderful part to play in this lifetime, even if you feel insignificant, because you are not: You never have been and you never will be. You are amazing, you are talented, you are unique and you are SIGNIFICANT.

If you still need some inspiration after reading James Clear's article, I can highly recommend Louise Hay's renowned book You Can Heal Your Life, also available as an audio book.

Today I make a pledge to myself to stop comparing myself to others.  I won't succeed fully by tomorrow, or the next day, or maybe even next week.  However, I assure you, that with practice we will win this fight.