The Only Person Worth Comparing Yourself To

As the accolades whiz by on your newsfeed, pictures of somebody’s latest vacation, purchase, etc, etc, you might find yourself comparing your life to a digitally manicured representation of somebody else’s. We forget that what we see is the highlight reel, the movie trailer, stripped of all the parts that aren’t so great. And yet we still compare. It always seems like people are up to something far more epic than you are.

  • You volunteer at a homeless shelter, while somebody else builds an orphanage.
  • You make a dollar, while somebody else makes a thousand.
  • You get a Toyota, and someone else gets a BMW

And really this is all a giant waste of time. It’s exhausting.

The irony is that the person you’re comparing yourself to is probably doing the same with another person. My friend Heather calls this comparisonitis. You can break the habit.

As I’ve been reading books and digging through the @blogcastm archives for ideas, something became pretty clear.

There’s only one person that’s worth comparing yourself to. That is the previous version of YOU.

  • THe writer you were a year ago vs the writer you are today
  • The way your business was a year ago vs the way it is today
  • The way your art was a year ago vs the way it was today

In order to do this you have to develop what Carol Dweck calls a growth mindset. It’s not about how good you are at anything today, but how much better at it you get over time. It’s about learning how to become a fan, critic, and consumer of your own work

Take a look at how far you’ve come in any endeavor over the course of a week, year or a few years.

Dwell on that.

Celebrate it.

And if you’ve been the kind of person who’s stuck with something so far past when the average person would quit, more power to you. My friend Dave Ursillo is a shining example of that. I’ve watched him evolve from a self published book that didn’t quite take off to a successful writer’s group that has transformed his business, his life and those who are part of it. Check out the Literati (linked below)

But, if you’re not careful even this can become a vicious trap which pulls you out of the present moment. Live in the moment and keep your eyes on the horizon.

I’m the host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast, where I have weekly conversations with creative entrepreneurs and other insanely interesting people. Our guests have included bloggers, authors, bank robbers, happiness researchers and world famous cartoonists.

Order An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake: Listen to the @UnmistakableCR podcast in iTunes

Order An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake: Listen to the @UnmistakableCR podcast in iTunes