Why Comparing Yourself is Destructive (and Helpful)

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imagesLast night I met a fellow leader at a local coffee watering hole.   He’s an effective leader in his field, and his influence has grown over the years.  I respect him.

But thankfully I noticed something missing: the insecurity that sometimes accompanies meeting with a high-achiever.

Insecurity, self-doubt, discouragement – these all have the potential of invading your mind and heart when you compare yourself with others.  And comparison leads to some distinctly negative results.    So avoid it.

Here’s what happens when you compare yourselves with other leaders (other professionals, other dads, other moms, other _________ ) you fill in the blank.

If you’re ahead of them in some way, you’ll get too prideful and be tempted to coast.

If you’re behind them either in a particular area, you’ll get depressed and want to give up.

So just Keep Growing and Keep Leading.   Become the Best Version of yourself that you can be.

Comparing yourself to others leads to arrogance or shame, but never happiness.

However, what if comparison inspires you to step up your game? What if it makes you say, ‘If so-and-so can do it, so can I?’”

Dave Hare (@davidahare) inspires me. He’s one of the best leaders I’ve met (and that includes some well known authors). The way he leads and communicates has helped improve my facilitating and speaking skills.

Craig Parker motivates me to be a spiritual leader. He’s a local minister whose life exemplifies servant leadership and the perseverance needed to succeed.

Buck Nielsen stirs me to keep growing. He’s a 70-year-old retired educator who still “out reads” me 4 to 1 because of his desire for personal development. He motivates me to always have something to give to others.

These three people inspire me, but inspiration is not the same thing as comparison.

Let’s look at the differences:

Inspiration tells you anything is possible.

Comparison tells you everything is impossible.



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