Hey Friends 👋
It's often touted that comparison is the thief of joy and that by comparing to others we'll be worse off so we should avoid doing it. And, I can see the logic behind this. I, for one, have compared to others many times and have come off with negative emotions. This has been especially present on social media where it's easy to think "they have more followers than me so they must be better" or "they get more engagement so I'm awful".
And, while this form of negative self-talk is a problem and something we should all look to avoid where possible (I know it's easier said than done 😅). I don't believe we should avoid comparison at all costs.
If done with the right mindset, comparison can lead to positive growth and outcomes instead of negative self-talk and emotions.
What I mean by this is comparing with the mindset of growth and learning. Instead of comparing and just thinking "they're doing so much better than me so I'm doing awful". We should try to learn from their success and see if we can replicate it in our work.
So, next time you see someone's work and you think that's cool or you think "I wish I had that"; try to think of what they're doing to achieve the outcome you want and then replicate that in your work.
Now, some might say taking lessons from others isn't a comparison, it's inspiration or learning. And, while I agree with that observation, I would also add that in the process of taking inspiration, we're admitting that our current version of X needs improvement and that what they're doing can help us improve it. And, right there is the comparison. While it's not an immediately obvious one, we do still compare when we look for inspiration or to learn from others. Comparing is a natural part of the improvement and growth process and I don't think it's one we can or should avoid if we're serious about self-development.
Of course, it goes without saying that comparison is only good while it benefits us. As soon as we start to suffer from it via negative self-talk or similar, we should take a step back, take a break and reflect on it. Why is the comparison impacting us negatively? And, what can we do about it?
At the end of the day, comparing to others is a double-edged sword and one we need to tread lightly on. On the one side, we want to learn, improve, and grow by comparing ourselves to others and seeing how and where we can improve our work, processes, and systems. But, we also need to avoid the thieving part of comparison and not let it take our joy...
Thank you for reading as always.
Comparing to others can be beneficial, it can highlight our mistakes and ways in which we can improve by looking at others' success and how they work. We can supercharge our success by looking at those who are already successful and taking on board the systems, processes, and methods they use.
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