Just to put it in simple terms, comparing ourselves to others is a self demeaning act. All of us know this, isn’t it? However, it is easier said than done. And even though we are aware about every single downside of external comparison, seldom can we restrain ourselves from this self degrading tendency.
Nevertheless, since there’s no limit to trials, we can again make efforts to abstain ourselves from this habit of comparing our lives and careers with others around. The best way we could do this, would be to reason out why comparison is a futile task to indulge in.
So without much ado, let’s list out few arguments against comparing your career to everyone else’s.
It’s a never ending quest
You have spent your childhood days counting the number of toys you own; with that of your neighboring friend. Your juvenile span had a different focus. Whether it was a semester score or number of girlfriends; many of you have spent sleepless nights, knowing that someone else is having a better score than you.
And now as adults, career, paychecks, designations, car, bungalow and anything else you can think of, has replaced those previous goals. So where’s the end point? When can you be exactly happy and content with yourself? Perhaps never!
Instead, if you have your own targets and try making your tomorrows better than yesterdays, you will be in a position to celebrate your own achievements, set new targets and work to reach those positions.
It deviates you from you own career goals
Let us say you need to participate in a 200 meters race. There are many other competitors who are having the same goal as yours; all want to be the first to cross the finish line. Now, where do you focus? Of course the finish line, isn’t it?
If you concentrate more on how far your competitors are from the finish line, you definitely stumble upon and get chucked out of the race. And the same rule applies to your lives and career goals.
You focus more on what others are doing and dream of reaching their positions. Due to this, you somehow get deviated from your career objectives. You may find a friend earning well as a sales manager and you think of opting for that profession. However, you always wanted to be a writer and trying to become a sales manager is certainly difficult. You either don’t perform well or you don’t enjoy the work and therefore don’t progress.
On the other hand, if you set your own career goals; say you aim at becoming a successful columnist and work towards the said goal; one fine day you will be there. Perhaps, earning much more than your sales manager friend!
It’s mostly an apple to orange comparison
You bump into an old friend, only to know that he has become the chief editor of a leading magazine and then something within, automatically instigates you to review your career. Needless to say, that you end up with negative feedbacks.
There you are unhappy and dissatisfied with your job. However, never in your wildest dream did you even think of having a career in writing or mass media. You took up Finance and thus earned a Banking career.
Now, being a Chief editor is different from that of Chief Manager in a Bank. Both require different skills and time. So, comparison here becomes extremely futile, unnecessary and clearly irrelevant.
On the other hand, meeting someone from your banking school who has reached an impressive position after having started at the same time as yours is beneficial. If you can take it in good spirit, you can learn his secrets to success.
It is not what it appears to be
You find one of those friends posting about a dinner at a renowned and costly restaurant and you get busy checking your wallet to know if you can ever visit that place in your life time.
However, that friend of yours is never going to tell you that it was only because his car broke down in that area, that he had to opt for an expensive dinner as there was no other option than wait until his car got repaired. Perhaps, he is still cutting his expenses to compensate for that single dinner.
And there you are, engrossed in a thorough introspection about yourself and how you can move to a better profile where you can earn and spend like your friend. What a waste of time! Isn’t it?
It steals your uniqueness
All of us are unique and are born to accomplish different purposes in life. When we are constantly comparing and trying to be someone else, we loose our uniqueness and become common.
Lastly, many people believe that comparison is needed to push our own limits and reach greater levels of success. This is not true. Inspiration and motivation is what keeps us going. And comparison deprives you from drawing inspiration from others as it breeds jealousy.