There’s only one reason why I have not able to grow to my full potential, and that’s comparison. The habit of comparing myself with others has significantly reduced my chances of growing to my full potential.
While I was in school, I used to compare myself with my friends who were average at studies. During exams, most of them used to fail and I used to think I was smart because I would fail in less subjects than they did. I always kept them as my success margin. If I would beat them then I’d feel successful. And I was constantly comparing myself with them. So, I was also growing in their pace.
I didn’t have any good habits and thought that it was okay because none of my friends had any good habits. I used to limit myself with them. They used to be my margin, and my goal used to be to make sure I wouldn’t fall shorter than them. If they failed at 6 subjects, then my goal would be to not fail in 6 subjects. If they bought a new pair of shoes then I would need one.
I didn’t have any ethics, nor did I had any thoughts on improvement. I used to limit myself with their success. My ethics used to be their beliefs. I was pretty good at studies and never failed in any subjects until I started comparing myself with my friends. After I started to compare myself with my friends who failed, I started to think that failing was not that bad. I know it sounds foolish but while you compare and follow others you won’t be able to make good decisions. So, I started to fail after that. And then, I would be pretty happy that I failed at only 2 subjects while my friends failed at 6 subjects.
We can also look at it from another point of view, that I choose wrong friends. But even if I choose good friends, I would have limited my potential growth by keeping a success margin along with theirs. I wouldn’t be able to develop my own ethics and my ability to reason because I would copy theirs.
For example: If you always compare your writing with mine then you won’t improve your writing to your fullest potential, because you are taking my writing as a sample and comparing it with yours. And as soon as you feel like you’ve started writing better than me, you’ll feel like you’ve done your job and won’t improve further. But if you compare yourself with your older self then there’s high chance that you’ll improve your writing to your fullest potential.
After analyzing for years and years, I’ve come to conclusion that we should not compare ourselves with others, but we should occasionally compare ourselves with our older self. If you do that then you will grow everyday and improve yourself.
Nowadays, while I compare myself with others, I feel like I am saying I won’t improve more than the person I’m comparing. If you compare yourself with someone than you are conveying the message that you won’t improve more than them.
I may still be wrong. I am not saying this because I feel unconfident on my analysis but because there’s nothing so complete of knowledge. There’s always place to improve your thoughts.
I have been comparing myself with others almost all the time. Comparing myself with others didn’t improve me, rather it deteriorated me. I was always comparing myself with my friends, who were average individuals. They never tried doing anything worth the time and I didn’t either. I always stayed average or below average comparing myself with them. If they ever did anything I’d try and do something to fill the gap and then I’d be comfortable comparing myself with them.
Most of my friends were average, and most of them failed in school exams. While they failed the exam, I would pass and think that I was pretty smart. I thought I was really a good student but since I was comparing myself with them I started to feel comfortable failing. I used to think I was good enough if I only failed in 2 subjects while they failed in 6 subjects. I was constantly deteriorating myself by comparing myself with my friends and other people. I didn’t used to fail but since I was comparing with my failing friends I thought failing in 2 or 3 subjects wasn’t that bad because they used to fail in 6 subjects.
I’ve found out that comparing ourselves with others only brings a limitation to our brain. It starts to get comfortable just by competing with them. We drag ourselves down and get comfortable comparing ourselves with others. Even though we’ve not reached that far, we think that we have. It’s because of this mentality we never try doing anything worth while. We feel bad if we can’t compete and feel good if we, somehow win them.
I’ve compared myself with smart students as well, and I’ve figured out that I’m not changing myself but I’m trying to compete with them. I don’t care if I learn a thing or not, I just need to win them. Which is not that good. If we can eliminate comparison then we can shoot for the stars.
After you see yourself living a life of comparison, you’ll eventually figure out that you are wasting your life.
Until someone reminds you of it, you won’t realize that you’ve been comparing yourself with others.
Think deep: Have you been comparing yourself with others?
The first step is to identify that you are comparing. And then only you can work to improve it.
I found a different effect of comparing myself with others as I compared myself with those who set the bar quite high. I compared what I felt I was lacking to their apparent successes. This is not healthy either as it can also limit full potential in the ugly monster of “I’m not good enough” That monster, that voice can also stop us from achieving or being our best selves as we may think about giving up because we will “never be as good as ___________” (fill in the blank.) I resonate with your idea of only comparing ourselves to our older self, our past self and see how far we’ve come as we measure how far we still have to go. Thanks for your thoughtful post. HUG from my heart to yours!
Right! I’ve been able to improve only when I compare myself with my older self. 🙂
Thanks for your input, Kristin!
Great article! I’ve found myself comparing with others a lot. Wheter I feel that I’m better or worth than them, it never really helped me.
But orhers inspire me. I like to get around people who are better than me. Not to compete with them but just to feel their energy.
Then I find a new drove to get better.
Surrounding our self with people better than us for the sole purpose of inspiration is a good thing — I always do that. However, comparing with them is a bad thing.
At least, that’s how I view it for the moment.
Great post!. Learned alot from it. Comparing our selves with others juat limits our own strengths.
Thanks for the read, Aamir!
Good message Manish. Liked the part “comparing ourselves with our older self”.
Thank you Shiya!