Compete, don’t Compare
This is a huge pitfall for many people and a thought provoking topic that I love. What I mean by this is compete with yourself to get better and grow, but don’t compare yourself to others. And when you compete with others, use it as a opportunity to better yourself, not as an avenue to comparison.
As we work on ourselves, it is so important to compare ourselves to where we used to be, not to those around us. Do not get caught comparing or seeing just how you measure up. This breeds resentment as well as unhappiness. For example: “Why did he get an A on his paper and I only got a B+?” Or “It’s not fair that she gets to start, when I showed up to every practice on time.” If we allow ourselves to think this way, we often lose sight of what we had control over in the situation, as well as make ourselves a victim.
When I walked on the basketball team at Carolina, I had the opportunity to compete every day against players who were better at basketball than me. I could have compared myself to them and probably lost self confidence or played scared. Instead, I knew that practice was a chance for me to get better against the best, and that comparing myself to them was not going to help me. It works if you’re the best on the team as well…comparing yourself to others will stunt your growth, because you’re already “good enough” to be the top guy. Compete with yourself, stop comparing to the guy next to you.
There is no hidden, secret recipe to improvement. Mostly it is discipline and focus, and if we continually compare ourselves to those around us, we lose focus quickly. Instead, compete with yourself and chase growth and self improvement with a hunger.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt
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