Why I NEED To Stop Comparing Myself To Others : Under30CEO Why I NEED To Stop Comparing Myself To Others : Under30CEO
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Why I NEED To Stop Comparing Myself To Others

| August 30, 2013 | 14 Comments

comparing to others

I compare myself too often.

I compare myself almost every day.

Already, I’m comparing this article to articles other people have written, and I’m only 3 sentences in.

I’m new to this entrepreneur stuff, but still, why aren’t I as good as them?

Why can’t I get an investment?  Why can’t I make 6 figures?  Why does it seem like success is easy to them, when I know I have to work my butt off for every newsletter subscriber, or every “Like” on Facebook?

Why do I feel regret for not reading enough, or not learning enough, or not working hard enough when I see their successes?  I have no idea why.  But I hate it, and this comparing myself attitude really has to go.

I even model what I do after them, hoping it will achieve their level of success.  Nope.  Doesn’t work.

So how do I stop comparing myself?  Yes, they’re cooler than me.  Yes, they make more money than me.  Yes, they have a higher level of success than me.  Does that make me bad?  Does that make me worse than them?

How do I stop these comparisons?

You know how I stop? I stop by getting deep into my core.  I reach down into why I started this business in the first place.  I grab all the bricks that people have thrown at me throughout my life, and place them gently on the foundation for what I am creating.

I start to realize what I am doing this for.  I realize WHO I am doing this for.  I realize that no matter what anybody else does, they will not equal what I am doing.  They may be more successful, they may have more money, they may have more email subscribers, but nobody will provide the value that I provide at my business.  Nobody will show the love to my customers that I will show to mine.

How do you stop comparing yourself to your friends or peers, who somehow are achieving a much higher level of success than you?

You stop focusing on them, and start focusing on your business, your brand, and your loyal followers.  You begin to go the extra mile, disciplining yourself to treat every follower, comment, friend, and customer like the first one.

Like they are the most important person on earth.

You begin to realize that “they” are not you.  Nobody is you.  I repeat, NOBODY IS YOU.  You have skills and knowledge inside of you that nobody else has.  You have your own brand and your own unique style that people LOVE.  If you try to emulate another person’s style, you will crash and burn.  But if you create your own style, and stick to it, you will start to feel more and more comfortable with what you are doing.

You will start to look at what you are creating more often, instead of what “they” are creating.  You will put the time, energy, and love into your business more than the time you will spend feeling bad about how well they are doing.  And finally, you will find out the root of your being, and realize that you were put on this earth for a reason, and realize that this little business you are creating is what you were put on this earth to do.

As time goes on, you will take comfort in knowing that even though your direct competition has over 10,000 likes on Facebook, and you have only 100, those 100 likes give you a level of satisfaction that you can’t find anywhere else.

Especially from who you are comparing yourself to.

Tyson Hartnett has played professional basketball overseas, and recently started his first business, BasketballTrainingClub.com.  He encourages people to find their personal trifecta: What they are good at, what they love to do, and how they can make money doing it. 

Image Credit: twicsy.com

About the Author: Tyson Hartnett

Tyson Hartnett is in the midst of creating his first book about his experiences playing professional basketball overseas, and all the struggles that young athletes may experience. To get updates on the release date and book excerpts, check out HoopDreamsFulfilled.com.

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Category: Entrepreneurship

  • ssltoyou

    This advice usually comes out of the mouths of folks in middle age who made all the psychological mistakes over the decades and finally…finally figured it out, or got desperate and wound up at a shrink and figured it out. My success in business follows this mindset as well. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, because I know the standard to which I hold myself doesn’t come close to others’. I was also born with a comedian gene which drives me to make people laugh, look at the glass half full, and fly above it all to see the absurdity and hilarity of human nature. I my youth I swam with artists whose mission was Ultimate Cool, and I slapped that blank stare and I don’t care on my face. Realizing that just ain’t me, it’s so liberating to just let my humor fly. I have been financially successful since my release from Cool. Go for it, people.

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Ssl, thanks for the comment. I think we all try to subconsciously let people know that we are great, powerful, or any other positive adjective. However I think when we do this we unintentionally make that person feel inferior to us. And this is when we start comparing ourselves.

    The fact that there are unlimited comparisons you can make with others means we must control this personality trait.

    Have you seen this a lot in your business years? .

  • Cara Murphy

    Why is it so hard to stop comparing? I think it’s because we measure and relate to our environment by comparing. We try to put everything into dichotomies- hot vs. cold, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. I think the root of this is how we as a society have developed. Comparison is wrought in our language, social structures, economy, etc.

    Nonetheless, I loved this ending quote- “And finally, you will find out the root of your being, and realize that you were put on this earth for a reason, and realize that this little business you are creating is what you were put on this earth to do.” I am going to try my best to live by this! There’s no way we can improve and truly appreciate what we have if we keep comparing ourselves to others.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    You can take this on a different perspective. There’s nothing wrong comparing your abilities, skills, achievements to others. You’re just being relative; I mean we DO need to see how much we have improved not just by what we produce, but by what others have produced as well. It’s how we know there’s much more to learn. But we have to STOP taking it on a personal level. What others have achieved does not speak what shape you as an individual, and our goals should not revolve around that reason. It is simply a “reference” so we can think beyond our own perception, not a benchmark of your character. Nobody is better than you and you’re not better than anybody. Anyway, thanks for the insightful advice, Tyson! Everyone should be aware of this! :)

  • Nona

    I guess there is that ‘little voice’ that is always questioning whether what you are creating is really something that people want to have, read, buy, whatever. I like your attitude that you do it because YOU want to do it! It makes YOU feel good that you are giving something that YOU feel is important to others. Anything that comes from the heart…as you say…HAS to be a good thing!

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Thanks so much Cara. I appreciate the feedback. You’re making me get emotional, saying that you’re going to try to live your best by this.
    Something that I wanted to add, but it would ruin the flow of the article, is that society places a premium on people comparing themselves to others. For women, it’s the scary thin models on the covers of magazines, and for men it’s only the extremely rich who make the covers. I know this is how businesses make money by needing to be better than your peers, yet the mental toll it takes on all of us is not healthy.
    the dichotomies idea is genius, too. We do that because it makes things easy label. We are overloaded with things all day long, and we don’t have time to think about the complexity of everything.
    Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with somebody who constantly needs to push their successes in your face?

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Belinda, Thanks so much!
    I agree that we need to have a benchmark for ourselves, yet using other people as that mark is the worst way to do it. This is why 10 year high school reunions are so scary. This is an extreme example of comparing yourself to others, since at one point you were all at the same spot. And, depending on where you are at the reunion, it is a guarantee that you will feel worse or better, depending on where you rank amongst your former peers.
    Also, I think the idea of “nobody is better than you and you’re not better than anybody” isn’t true. This is the general, politically correct idea, but once you dive into reality, there is definitely a separation between people. Some people are definitely smarter than others. Some are harder working than others. However, I think if we constantly compare ourselves to those people, we will always feel down. So I think the best way we can combat this is to find out what our strengths are, and focus on them in life and in work.
    Your thoughts?

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Nona, thanks for the comments!
    I think everybody has that ‘little voice’, yet only few actually listen to it. But even if they do listen to it, it takes a while for that little voice to become a reality.
    Anything that comes from the heart is a good thing, but the tough part is how to make a living doing that thing. Especially with entrepreneurs, everybody has dreams, ideas, visions, etc, but actually creating a lifestyle for yourself from that vision is when the real work comes into play.
    Is there a little voice inside you that you haven’t listened to yet?

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    You’re right, we’re evaluated and ranked by our abilities so we cannot fully avoid it. It’s a matter of how you see it as a way to let yourself grow to make yourself a better person because our biggest competition is sometimes ourselves. So yes, in the end, it’s all about focusing on self-improvement. Thanks for replying, Tyson!

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Belinda, no problem. In startup literature, they say that you should watch the competition and see what they do, but it also says you should forget the competition and do what you think is best. I think it’s important to notice competition and our peers for what they are doing, but to control it so we will still be focused on the objectives that we have created for ourselves.
    If you believe our biggest competition is ourselves, what do you think the best way to self-improvement is?

  • Chesterton fan

    Very nice article. The transition from self doubt, or even self pity, to quiet determination, as the essay makes clear, is a key transition in any serious endeavor. It is like having slogged through a wide miasmic swamp, having felt countless nettles and bites as well as a feeling of lost desolation, and finally reaching dry upward sloping ground, with a glimpse of the heights that are one’s destination. I have found that anger, which is so often a destructive emotion, can fuel that transition, so long as it is contained and focused. I look forward to following the climb.

  • http://www.transpiral.org/ Yasmine Khater

    love this article! super refreshing and I agree. The moment that I realized I was unique because I got to be me, and there was no one else who had my ideas, my experiences, I start to enjoy my business a whole lot more!

  • Nona

    Funny you ask that question…It’s the question I ask others but not sure if I sat down and really looked at myself: If money and time were not an issue, what would I be doing, where would I live, who would I be with? That’s the basis for the dream…and then sometimes you have to do the ‘other jobs’ for money and experiences.

  • Ebony

    I have been guilty of this in the past as well and since I have been very conscious of how I feel. Just this past weekend, I had a down moment “everyone’s life is cooler than mine” moment because I was broke and stuck at home doing nothing but reading. It was slightly depressing then I remembered something similar to the photo included…

    People show you what they want to see, and since I am just starting out, I cannot be saddened or mad by what I’m not doing when there will be time others are “jealous” of the life I am living. Soon, very soon that day will come.

    It’s always a good thing to identify an error and find ways to fix it. Kudos!