Why you shouldn’t Compare Yourself to Others

By | June 9, 2019

Do You Fall Into This Trap? Comparing Yourself to Other People


If you are human, then you have surely done this. You compare yourself to other people in a negative way. The good news is that people out there compare themselves to you and the not-so-good news is that you do it, as well. But be aware that doing either does not truly benefit you or the other person if it is done with a negative context, even though it is a part of human nature. It’s how we grow, it’s how we strive, but sometimes, unfortunately, it’s sometimes an excuse to give up or think despairing thoughts as well.

A Fixed Mindset

If we don’t have something to compare ourselves to, you might reason, then how will we learn to achieve and grow? Sometimes, when we compare ourselves to others, we have something to gauge our success and failure with and, therefore,  provide ourselves a measure of where we can do better and achieve more.

However, unfortunately, for those with a fixed mindset, this does not occur at all. There is actually a reverse method of thinking that comes from doing this.  That reverse method tells us since we are not as good as the other person, we might as well just quit. That doesn’t work in the world of intelligent people, however. It is ineffective, at best and can be very harmful, creating negative thoughts and keeping us from pushing forward.

Do you ever find yourself viewing someone else’s success as only a way to make yourself look bad? If so, you are not alone in this thought process. For some, the success of others equates to highlight their own failures. When this happens, you tend to make excuses such as the other party being luckier or having it easy. Another excuse is to say everything just comes easily to that person or, even worse, we use their success to highlight some other unrelated shortcoming. What if you could re-train your brain to adopt a mindset of growth?

Growth Mindset

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a growth mindset. You can give yourself the opportunity to change and grow over time as you learn to re-train your brain to a growth mindset. When you view someone else’s success as a way to strive harder, do more, and work harder, you re-train your brain to view this not as an excuse to stay status quo, but as a reason to thrive.

 

If you choose the thought patterns that intelligence can be developed, you can most certainly train your brain to reach higher heights; you will see a radical change in your life. Once you get that your self-image has nothing to do with failing at something and that this failure is actually a path to higher learning, you will be more at ease in your own skin.

Wouldn’t that be nice – to be at ease in your own skin? If you change your mind, you can re-train your brain to view failure as a stepping-stone to new successes because it definitely can be just that.  You will begin to understand failure as a learning tool and not as a way to define your image.

So, the next time you want to compare yourself to someone else, stop and ask yourself if his/her success can be an inspiration for you. Maybe he/she put a tremendous amount of effort into the realization of dreams and all that hard work paid off. This could be a learning tool for you to work harder and stick with it rather than something viewed as an enemy.

The theory of “growth mindset” was created by Carol Dreck as part of her “mindset work”.  Read the quotes below.

“Dweck has primary research interests in motivation,[5][6][7][8][9][10] personality, and development. She teaches courses in Personality and Social Development as well as Motivation. Her key contribution to social psychology relates to implicit theories of intelligence, per her 2006 book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. According to Dweck, individuals can be placed on a continuum according to their implicit views of where ability comes from. Some believe their success is based on innate ability; these are said to have a “fixed” theory of intelligence (fixed mindset). Others, who believe their success is based on hard work, learning, training and doggedness are said to have a “growth” or an “incremental” theory of intelligence (growth mindset). Individuals may not necessarily be aware of their own mindset, but their mindset can still be discerned based on their behavior. It is especially evident in their reaction to failure. Fixed-mindset individuals dread failure because it is a negative statement on their basic abilities, while growth mindset individuals don’t mind or fear failure as much because they realize their performance can be improved and learning comes from failure. These two mindsets play an important role in all aspects of a person’s life. Dweck argues that the growth mindset will allow a person to live a less stressful and more successful life. Dweck’s definition of fixed and growth mindsets from a 2012 interview:

“In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.[11]”

This is important because (1) individuals with a “growth” theory are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks and (2) individuals’ theories of intelligence may be affected by subtle environmental cues.[citation needed] For example, children given praise such as “good job, you’re very smart” are more likely to develop a fixed mindset, whereas if given compliments like “good job, you worked very hard” they are more likely to develop a growth mindset.[citation needed] In other words, it may be possible to encourage students, for example, to persist despite failure by encouraging them to think about learning in a certain way.”

Be Inspired by Others Success

Other people’s success could be a way and a means for you to learn, grow, and, most importantly, be inspired.

You should find those that are successful in the field you are working in and who have achieved success.  Learn more about these people and let their success inspire you.  After all, if they can succeed greatly, then it is also possible for you to succeed.

How to find those who can inspire you?

Find those who can inspire you by searching the internet for success stories of those in your field.  You may find them in forums related to your field, FaceBook groups, training communities, and even through ads created by successful people who are selling their success steps to others like yourself. Sign up for their email and newsletters to get tips and learn from them.  Carefully consider the training or books (even ebooks) they offer for sale.

Comments

I love to receive comments and questions from my site visitors.  Please leave yours below and share this article with your friends who might enjoy it also. -Shirley

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Why you shouldn’t Compare Yourself to Others

  1. Kamil

    Hi Shirley, thanks for this great post. I think that comparing myself to other people can be beneficial provided that we treated it as a benchmark or the goal we are going to achieve.

    Reply
    1. Shirley Dawson Post author

      Kamil, thanks for visiting my blog site and for your comment. I agree, if we use the comparison to inspire ourselves to do better and not to “down” ourselves, then the comparison can be helpful and good for us. We should frequently give ourselves something to aspire to and set our goals high. Thanks again -Shirley

      Reply
  2. Charles

    I’m 200% agree with everything you said in this post and it’s a pleasure to read it
    It’s very hard to not compare ourselves to someone else yes but everybody can change
    I’ve worked on this a lot and I know now I can achieve success and even more, I think we have to set very high goal and be determinate and motivate can achieve everything
    Like you said, if we think failure it’s part of being successful, that’s it, we already won
    Thanks you for this article
    I really enjoyed it
    Charles

    Reply
    1. Shirley Dawson Post author

      Charles, thanks for visiting my site and your comment. Yes, we need to fill our minds with positive thoughts, thoughts of success, not of failure or despair. As entrepreneurs, we need to always be building ourselves up and not tearing ourselves down. The “I CAN” additute works. Remember mom used to tell us “Can’t never did anything” and it is true. -Shirley

      Reply
  3. Frank

    Hi Shirley, great post about changing your mindset. As you say comparing yourself to others is a good thing as long it inspires you to strive to be as successful as them if not better. I have a few books I like to read on this very subject.
    Having a good mindset is essential if you want to achieve anything in life. I used it to lose a lot of weight last year. I got it in my mind that I was going to lose 1lb a week over the year, I managed to shift 56lb over the 12 months, so having the right mindset worked for me.
    Thanks for your well written article.

    Frank

    Reply
    1. Shirley Dawson Post author

      Thanks, Frank for visiting my website and for your comment. I love that you lost that 56 pounds using positive thinking. I’m in the middle of a weight loss program now and I’m going to use it to help me lose the weight also. Thanks again -Shirley

      Reply
  4. Sara Poyner

    Thank you so much for this post. I have spent a lot of my life comparing myself to others and judging my success, on how I stack up to others. I think my mindset came from working in a target driven industry, where league tables were released every week. This developed a competitive and perfectionist mindset. Until later in life I had a minor breakdown and re-evaluated my views. What I have learned later in life is that much of my mindset came from a feeling of lack, and a belief that I was in competition with every other person. Later in life I decided to look to those who I saw as successful as an inspiration, and would read their work, watch their speeches and use their teachings to heal and progress myself. Wisdom comes from knowing that we are all connected, not in competition and it is through connection and creativity that we succeed. I stopped comparing myself to others and have found a much happier and relaxed and successful person. I judge my success on myself and not others. Are there any people in particular that have inspired you? At what point did you realise comparing and competition was not a healthy way to live?

    Reply
    1. Shirley Dawson Post author

      Sara, thanks for visiting my site and for your nice comment. As for my inspirations, I am a member of a huge online community of affiliate marketers and I love to read the success stories from others who have reached their dream goals. One is actually a young man in Thailand who started college then began an online affiliate marketing business and was so successful with it, that he dropped out of college and makes 6-figures and more each month. His goal is to be a millionaire by the time he is 25. Reading his stories certainly inspires me and there are many others in the community who share their successes and help others in their journey to their own success. Thanks again for your comment -Shirley

      Reply

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