We know better. We see it in others. They compare houses, incomes, body shape, manicures, cars, walk, talk, friends, social media hits, and the list goes on. The habit of comparing yourself to others may have started in kindergarten when you noticed that a certain kid had more toys or a prettier Mom. We felt less than and then we grew up. But the habit continued.
There is also the habit of comparing ourselves to how much other people do or don’t do. A colleague recently told me, “Other people do so much more than me.” It seems in every circle there is a Robust Roberta or Hardy Harry. They put in long hours, accomplish much, and seem to effortlessly skip up Mount Everest! The result of all this comparison is diminished confidence.
We lose confidence when we believe we would be better people if we felt, thought, and acted like those we compare ourselves. We can’t. You are you and I am me. Of course, we can be inspired by others and learn from them. Then we meld them into our capacity, personality, lifestyle, and goals.
- Some people take very little down time and may even thrive on the fly. It’s hard to keep up or connect with them. Some of them may actually be at risk of burn out. Most literature would describe people like Roberta and Harry as having Type A personalities.
- Some people run like a race car and periodically collapse in an engine breakdown. This accelerate–breakdown, accelerate–breakdown rhythm may or may not work for them. Connecting with them is often when they need your help.
- Some people move and talk in a relaxed flow like a gentle brook. In their company we may feel either bored or peaceful.
People in each of these three speed categories vary in their effectiveness at work and in relationships.
Your job is to stop comparing yourself to them and others. As the old adage goes you can’t compare apples to oranges not to say you work or live in a fruit bowl.
Ideas to Stop Comparing and to Build Your Confidence
- Our mentors and heroes model how to best negotiate, listen, act courageously, generously and compassionately, or any other number of success behaviors. It’s up to us to decide which of those activities we do in ease, bring satisfaction and leave room to maintain connection to ourselves and our loved ones.
- We can decide our satisfactory level of our daily pace and accomplishments.
- Avoid celebrating only the busy, busy, busy life. Honor your body’s particular need for sleep, exercise and relaxation.
- Follow your own passions rather than listening to your inner chattering of should’s, must’s and have to’s. Consider making some days lazy and hazy.
- No cat compares her daily mouse catch to others. She opens her eyes, takes a peek, decides if she is inspired or hungry. Then after the hunt she often returns to her nap.
- Tomorrow awaits a demonstration of your way to do you. Robust Roberta and Hardy Harry just might learn something watching!
- Now your strengths and compare how you have used them over the years. That’s the way to do comparison; noting your progress.
Don’t risk comparing yourself to others and risking living an inauthentic life. We need all of you to have the confidence to show up!
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Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.242.7796 or email a request.
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