While there are some games where we possibly stand a chance at winning, there’s one that we never will. What’s that game? It’s the comparison game. It’s a game where you’re not tall enough, not thin enough, not good looking enough, not rich enough, not clever enough, and on and on it goes.
And even though it’s a game that we know we don’t stand a chance in, we still take part. Comparing our car to our neighbours. Comparing our competition’s results to our own. Comparing how much money we make, how large a following we have, how talented they are, etc. And then we wonder why we feel so miserable about ourselves?
If that’s what you’ve been doing to yourself lately, here are 3 things to remember.
1 – Everyone’s Starting Point Is Different
Some of us were born with good looks, money, great parents, or a hundred other random things. And some of us weren’t. It’s like two seeds that fall on the ground.
One lands on the freshly dug ground, the other on hard concrete. The first one already has a head start. It’s got the soil and best spot in the garden. – While the second one rolls around until it finds a crack in the patio and grows from there.
So is it fair to compare one to the other? That one is a better plant than the other?
No, one just had an immediate advantage over the other. And the same goes with your starting point. You mightn’t have landed on soft soil, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be an amazing flower from where you start off either.
And truth be told, sometimes not having an immediate advantage means you’ll have to work harder making your journey more of an inspiration than someone that had it all handed to them.
2 – Some People Are A One Trick Pony
Ever notice that we usually compare ourselves to one thing in someone else’s life? – She’s a great speaker. He’s a great actor. They’re so good looking. And we take that one aspect of them and put it on a pedestal. ‘They’re better than us because of that one thing,’ we say to ourselves.
But the thing is, that’s probably the only thing they’re good at?
How many times has a celebrity, sports star, actor, or someone we looked up to been found to be a drunk, a terrible parent, have a terrible personality, or been impossible to work with? – Plenty of times, right?
And yet, we thought they were the greatest thing to grace the planet because of one thing. But that ONE thing is the only thing they’re good at. – Again, skill, luck, genes, or a hundred other things might have got them famous for that one thing.
So do you really think comparing yourself to someone whose home life is a car crash is a wise choice?
Maybe it’s better to focus on your little patch and make sure the people that look up to you find you as being an all-around good guy/gal than just someone that looks good on camera.
3 – Everyone’s Better Than You
When it comes to the comparison, even notice that we always look forward and up, rather than back and down? We compare our life to someone that’s been on the planet longer than we have. We compare our body to someone that’s been known to have extensive plastic surgery. We compare our musical skills to someone that’s been playing the piano for ten years. And it’s a game we’re never going to win.
Yet, how many times do we look backwards and down? To the people that are less skilled than us, less courageous than us, or would give anything to be in our situation? Hardly ever. But when we do, we find that we’ve come a long way in the last six months, are doing things that we used to find terrifying, and this place that we grew up in (compared to other places in the world) isn’t so bad after all.
So the next time you go comparing yourself to someone else, look to those ahead only as an inspiration and a challenge to get better. Don’t confuse someone else’s starting point, one talent, or length of time on the planet with where you are and what you do. – It’s a game you’re never going to win.
The only game you should be playing is your own. Where you’re the only competition. Where it’s you against the version of yourself from yesterday, last month, or a year ago. That’s the only scorecard worth paying attention to.
And that’s one that you’ll always be a winner at.