Thursday, August 09, 2007

Debilitating Habit of Comparing Yourself to Others

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The other day I was doing some research in connection with the Law of Attraction when I stumbled onto a site containing a motivational movie similar to "The Secret," consisting of the nation's top motivational speakers, authors and mentors.

While flipping through the photo gallery featuring those in the movie, I was shocked to see someone I once met several years ago when he was just starting out as a young speaker. There he was in full color, mingling among the nation's top speakers. My ego immediately tried to bombard me with thoughts like, "Why aren't you in that movie yourself?" "Shouldn't you be doing just as well or better than that guy?" "What does he have that you don't'?"

It was an unbelievable setback because it is my nature to celebrate the success of others because I am genuinely happy for them, knowing that if they can achieve success, so can I. But I was caught with my pants down. I had to pull up and step away for a few minutes. Comparing myself to this guy was pummeling my stomach like crazy. It did not feel good. That's exactly what your ego wants you to feel.

After stepping away, it dawned on me that from time to time, I tend to compare myself to the success of others and if I'm not careful, this line of thinking can end up dousing the flame of desire within me.

The only saving grace for any of us is the realization that each and every one of us is exactly where we are supposed to be, right now at this very moment. We each have a particular destiny that we came here to achieve and how we arrive there is a unique process, designed just for us. While we do have control over how we think, speak and behave, not everyone has the same capabilities, level of awareness, courage or skill. Some of us take longer than others. So what?

What's interesting is a lot of people look at me and say, "Wow, he's accomplished so much" or "He's pretty famous, I've seen him on television, in the newspaper and his name is all over the Internet." Some of them compare themselves to me, making themselves green with envy. On the flip side, here I am thinking: "Why are they are comparing themselves to me? Don't they realize that there are hundreds of others who are doing far better than me?"

Isn't it interesting how the perceptions we have of ourselves can radically differ from those who are looking from the outside? I'll say!

How can we avoid debilitating habit of comparing ourselves to others?

1. Don't compare yourself to anyone because they are on a different path.
2. Believe in your heart that you are right where you're supposed to be at this very moment.
3. Give yourself a fighting chance. You will learn step by step, over time, what you need to do in order to get to the next level. There's no hurry.
4. Just focus on yourself, your capabilities and be happy with how much you've accomplished so far. There are a lot of people who are worst off than you are.
5. Be grateful for everything that's happened in the past. It made you who you are today. Isn't that a cause for celebration?
6. Finally, forgive yourself if you feel you wasted precious time with non-productive activities lately. What's the point of beating yourself up over it? What's done is done. Each day is a new chance to begin anew.

Food for thought: What's the hurry? Can you accept that you are exactly where you're supposed to be right now, at this very moment? And that you will get to where you want to go if you give yourself a fighting chance?
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