The Pros and Cons of Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparisons are an everyday occurrence whether it is comparing in a positive way or coming from a darker place.  Did your family ever say, “Why are you comparing yourself to XYZ?”  Some schools of thought suggest that comparing is a good way to motivate you while others feel it is a road to disaster.  Wonder why?

Cons of comparing yourself to others

Seeing what others have or have accomplished can instigate feelings of jealousy, malicious envy and unfairness.  Instead of feeling happy for someone that we know deserves their good fortune, we allow our own insecurities to take over.  We have to be able to get past our negative thoughts and stop feeling sorry for ourselves.  This person may be at a different place in their lives where they worked hard and legitimately deserve to succeed.  Your feelings of anger and the “poor me syndrome” are preventing you from seeing clearly and can ruin a friendship or potential business contact.  You know the adage, comparing apples and oranges.  Perhaps in the future, you will have moved forward and can realistically compare and contrast with this person.

Pros of comparing yourself to others

Seeing what others accomplish can positively motivate you to set goals and reach the next level.  Knowing that others have achieved something that you want confirms that it is possible and can be realized.  Understanding how someone reached their level of success can be a learning experience and help you prepare your pathway.  Often times, comparing ourselves to others whom we aspire to emulate can create a mentoring situation or camaraderie that can not only help us to achieve our goals, but create an important business contact and friend.

While you may be comparing yourself to someone, keep in mind that someone might be comparing themselves to you.  How would you want to be viewed by another?  Remember, what goes around comes around.  Always seeing the positive (pro) in someone not only makes you feel better as a person, but will show those comparing themselves to you that you are a positive role model and they will want to emulate you.

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