Do you compare the talents of others to your perceived shortcomings? Of course we know that these types of comparisons are detrimental to our self esteem, and we also know that it isn’t truly a valid comparison, but knowing this doesn’t always make it easy to stop our mind from heading down this slippery slope.
Let me call you out on this behavior. At least this way we have some awareness and a good chance of stopping this useless action.
If you do this, you’re certainly not alone. It’s a human tendency to compare.
And, for introverts, it’s easy to compare ourselves to the extroverts in our environment and decide that our differences mean that we somehow don’t measure up.
Perhaps we feel that our more gregarious counterparts are getting all the lucky breaks, the promotions, and the amazing job offers. We tell ourselves that “if only we were more like them, we’d be okay”.
This is where I ask you – are your comparisons valid or helpful? The answer is no.
First, we all show up with different talents, strengths, and skills. That’s a good thing. But most people have an inner dialogue that has them feeling that they don’t measure up.
The inner critic can be a mean, seemingly heartless voice that challenges even the most confident ones among us.
Comparisons inherently force us into a perceived pecking order that, in reality, doesn’t exist. The person you view as better or more talented than you is likely envious of your gifts and strengths that they feel they don’t have.
While you might covet the ability to multi-task while socializing easily at work, others may wish they had your ability to focus and quickly follow projects through to completion.
While you might wish you could find words quickly in meetings and make your point before being interrupted, others may wish they could organize their thoughts on paper as eloquently as you do. They may wish they could deliver such well thought out and comprehensive writings and reports for the organization to benefit from.
At every stage of our personal and professional developments, there will be new hurdles and new challenges. Yours are different from those around you. They always have been and always will be. It’s this way by design.
What are you working on personally? Compare this only to the progress that you’ve personally made.
What were you working on last year at this time? Perhaps conceptually you are still working on building confidence or speaking up less hesitantly. In what context? Notice your growth.
You will see it when you look back.This may be part of your life’s journey. You will notice that you have expanded your personal comfort zone and added to your repertoire of what feels doable for you.
Keep going. Stop comparing your journey to someone else’s. You’re not going for perfection. You’re going for growth.
Comparisons are a waste of energy and they’ll just leave you frustrated. There will always be people ahead of you and behind you on the path. The truth is that you are not on the same path at all.
Decide for yourself what you want to work on in your life. Commit to being a lifelong learner and go do it.
Identify your strengths and celebrate them. Leverage them. Determine what additional skills or attributes will serve you well, and seek to develop them.
Create your life by design, not by default. Ask yourself the following questions:
How do I want to feel?
What do I want to be known for?
What do I enjoy spending my time doing?
Explore these questions and ideas and see what you come up with. Your answers will provide a guide and a roadmap forward.
Spend your energy and time getting traction with your answers.
You actually do measure up quite nicely!
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