Comparing yourself to other people
By JOHNNY CARCIOPPOLO / Community Columnist
If you are human, you have done it. You compare yourself to other people. 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. While neither is a benefit of the other, it is simply 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, 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, 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 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 intelligence, however. It is ineffective, at best.
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. Excuses are made 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, use their success to highlight some other unrelated shortcoming. What if you could re-train your brain to adopt a mindset of growth?
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 and 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 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. 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 or her success can highlight inspiration for you. Maybe he or 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 rather than something viewed as an enemy.
Other people’s success could be a way and a means for you to learn, grow and, most importantly, be inspired.