Comparing yourself to others leads to arrogance or shame, but never happiness. Arrogance tells you that you’re ahead. That you’re better than them. That you know something that they don’t know or have accomplished something better than someone else. Shame tells you that you’re behind. That you’ll never catch up. That someone else has an unfair advantage and the odds are wrongfully stacked against you. That it would be a lot easier to give up. – Jon Acuff
Do what makes you happy. Do what gives you pride and encourages you to be your best. That will look different to you than it does to other people, and that’s okay! Even in a competitive environment where you’re working on a paper for a class or competing for a spot on a team, comparison is only going to lead to jealousy, doubt, arrogance, or shame. You will never feel happy with where you are, but that you’re either better than or behind everyone else. Neither leads to satisfaction with your own work.
On the other hand, inspiration can motivate you, challenge you to think in different ways, and to try new things. Instead of criticizing people or holding them up on a pedestal when we compare ourselves to others, being inspired by someone means that we are cheering them along and that they are stimulating our own growth. Comparison tells you everything is impossible. Inspiration tells you anything is possible.
Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt
Game Plan: Challenge yourself to focus on your own work when you start comparing yourself to others. Celebrate other people’s accomplishments and find people who inspire you.