Compare Yourself to Yourself

Today’s post is a friendly reminder that social media does not tell the whole story.

Are you going to post the selfie you accidentally took in the dark when trying to take a picture of something else, or are you going to post the selfie with the good lighting that you spent 30 minutes posing for?

Just because John and Susie are getting married, Bob is buying a house, and Janet is partying like there’s no tomorrow, that is not proof that you failed. It doesn’t mean that any of these people are more happy or more successful than you.

How are you supposed to gauge your success without comparing herself to others? It’s not easy, but by comparing yourself to yourself.

When looking at a successful life, all that matters is that you’ve made progress from yesterday, and if you haven’t, then it matters that you’ve got the mindset to do it and are making plans and working toward something.

Success looks different to everyone. Scrolling through social media staring at millions of smiling faces when you’re having a bad day is enough to drive anyone insane – you just need to remember that people only post what they want you to see.

Everyone is struggling with something. Most people don’t talk about it. I think we should talk about it so we can start figuring out ways to help each other. But in the meantime, cut back on the time you spend looking at others’ lives and use that time to look at your own.

Don’t look at your life in a critical way – it’s self-destructive and unhelpful to say “wow I’m x years old and have only accomplished xyz.” You want to look at your life and say, “I have so many years left, what am I going to do with them?”

What do you want? What does success look like to you? Ask yourself these questions, and then make checkpoints that work for you.

For example, if you want to learn to cook, find a simple recipe and plan maybe 3 different days to cook it and try to improve each time. Maybe improvement to you is cutting down on the time it takes to make the meal. Maybe it’s enhancing the flavor. Maybe it’s in the presentation, or having all components of the meal ready at the same time. Whichever component you choose to focus on, maintain that focus. It’s not going to matter if your neighbor makes the same meal and they make it quickly and it’s delicous and beautiful. You don’t know what their process was, and their process shouldn’t change your process.

We come into this world alone, and we leave it alone. Of course I think we should make connections and socialize while we’re here, but at the end of the day, nobody can tell you if you succeeded but you.

I understand that jobs have standards and requirements. You’re going to be compared to others around you – and it is good to know where you rank among those doing the same job. However, don’t let this knowledge affect how you see yourself.

Perhaps you know that Bob is consistently closing more deals than you, but this does not mean that Bob is better than you or more successfull. Maybe Bob consistently closes 10 deals in the time it takes you to close 8, but maybe 8 is up from the 5 you closed last month. You can use Bob’s numbers as motivation to increase the number of sales you complete, but not as a comparison of success, because again, you and Bob are going to measure success differently.

Compare yourself to yourself. You’re exactly where you need to be.

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