We spend too much of our lives trying to conform, trying to fit in with everyone else. Which is the one thing no human can do. You are not meant to be a herd animal. Comparing yourself to others is part of the herd mentality that will hold you back from growing into the individual you were meant to be.
Comparing Yourself to the Wrong Percentage
Trying to be like “everyone else” is trying to be like the wrong percentage, as Bob Proctor says. Those are the people who, as a whole, are striving just to get by, letting someone else do the thinking for them.
The Small Percentage
We can draw inspiration from the tiny percentage who are truly, fearlessly like nobody else – the Bob Proctors, the Lisa Nichols, the Tony Robbins of the world. We should learn from them. But we shouldn’t try to be like them either.
There are really only two people you should compare yourself to:
- The person you were yesterday, to try to improve upon that person; and
- The person you want to become.
Your Uniqueness Has a Purpose
There is something you were put on this earth to do. You know that without anyone having to tell you, even if you don’t know yet what that something is. Your complete and utter uniqueness can only be explained this way. Every talent has its purpose, as does every flaw. When you compare yourself to someone else’s uniqueness it’s like making a vote against your own.
Your life holds power and magic if you will look for it. Said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “There is no planet, sun, or star could hold you if you but knew what you are.” The difficulties you’ve faced will one day become your fuel for helping others, taking you where you dream of going.
Comparing Yourself to Others Will Weaken You
Dr. Wayne Dyer advised people to avoid all thoughts which weakened them. I can think of no quicker way to lose your power than to compare your own life to someone else’s. Comparing yourself to someone else is like pure kryptonite. It’s the quickest way to reduce yourself from a vibrant individual to a scared little sheep.
If You’re Stuck
The herd mentality is a powerful force and it is hard to resist. How do you get out of the mindset of comparing yourself to someone else? If you’re really stuck, here are a few ideas for working through it:
- Identify what it is that you truly admire about the person you are comparing yourself to and figure out what you feel you are lacking. Look below the surface.
- Instead of focusing on your own lack, which will only weaken you, look past it to explore what might be within your power to change in your life.
- Use this discovery to your advantage and challenge yourself to make the changes you want to see.
- Move on. Focus on what you want. Don’t allow yourself to stay in a thought groove that isn’t serving you.
- Recognize how much easier to enjoy someone’s company when you’re not constantly comparing yourself to that person.
A Recent Example
Here’s a quick example from my life: A few months ago I was struggling with comparing myself to a woman much younger and more attractive (so I thought) than me. Sadly familiar territory for too many of us. But this time, when I decided to look more closely at my feelings, I realized that what I admired about her was that she was making the most of her appearance. As a busy working mom, I was having trouble finding the energy to put much effort into my appearance. Instead of focusing on the attractiveness I “lacked,” I was able to see that not looking my best was causing my confidence to suffer, so I decided to make it more of a priority.
Don’t Wait to Revel In Your Uniqueness
You could wait until you are much further down the road to look back and see that only you could have filled your shoes. Or you could seize the opportunity to believe it now, to enjoy and make the most of the life you’ve been given.
Refusing to compare yourself to others is the only way to forge your own exciting path apart from the herd. The world desperately needs your unique contribution. Maybe you’ll even inspire others to challenge the herd mentality.