One of my most annoying self-defeating habits is comparing myself to others. Other coaches. Other men. Other writers. Other entrepreneurs. Other couples. Other dancers. I’m not going to sit here and say that I’ve totally gotten rid of that habit, either. It might always be there to some degree. I’m ok with that.
If you are on this planet, you will always be observing contrasts in our environment, good and bad. It’s natural. Use it as inspiration to do/live/love better? Awesome. Use it to treat ourselves like shit? Not so much fun.
But one thing has helped me tremendously is accepting and making peace with the following truth.
There is ALWAYS going to be someone:
More available parent
Has smoother skin
Has more hair
Knowing and accepting that is key if we are to stop freaking the hell out about how we measure up to other people. (And most of the time it’s people we don’t even know and we’ve only seen their social media highlight reel.)
“But wait, Jeffrey, the opposite of those things is also true.” I totally agree. There will always be someone less talented or worse off than you in every area. And that can make us feel grateful for our situation. “Wow, I’m so glad that my family doesn’t have as much drama as his does.” Or in other cases, have us feeling superior. “Haha, no one came to her party.”
But my hunch is that many of us don’t focus on that end of the spectrum too often. We often use comparison to beat ourselves up.
No matter how good you get, there will always be someone better than you in something. And even if you find someone who is equally as skilled/popular/pretty as you, your mind might then start to judge yourself that you’re not unique or that you might someday fall behind.
Once I practice accepting that reality and that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, I begin to relax. And what you CAN do about it is notice the comparison thought come up and let it go. “Thanks, mind! You’re right, that’s true! She DOES have more clients/money/likes/comments/friends than I do.”
And that allows you to focus on another truth:
IT DOESN’T MEAN A DAMN THING ABOUT YOU.
Or your potential.
Or your worthiness.
Or your lovability.
Or your sexiness.
Or your business.
Or your family.
Or your life.
Or your life’s path.
Or your attractiveness.
So, I invite you to see what happens when you accept reality and bring your focus back to YOU. Because there is another obvious truth:
Other people are other people. You are you. And you are incomparable.
Jeffrey Platts is a men's coach and authentic communication expert who is passionate about helping men create amazing relationships with women. With over 20 years of personal study and transformational training, he has led nearly 200 workshops and retreats on personal growth, dating, and communication. Jeffrey's work and writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, ABC News, Authentic Man Program and the Good Men Project. He brings a rich toolbox of insights and experiences to his facilitation, integrating his adventures as DJ, amateur stand-up comedian, salsa dancer, yoga teacher and world traveler.