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Comparing yourself to others – a good thing or not?

Comparison is so prevalent. Is this good enough? Am I doing my best or could I have done better?

We can be tempted to think comparison is helpful, about making sure that we do our best work. And yes, I do understand that in many roles, getting work right, for your organisation, your business, your client, yes, doing good work is important.

I wonder though, how often the “doing my best” is really about doing well enough to fit in, to be accepted, to make sure they don’t figure out I’m not good enough…

If you’re honest, is there a little hint of “If I do it well enough, they’ll not guess that I don’t belong here”?

Sometimes we use perfectionism as a tool to stop people thinking less of us – and comparison is the way we check on how well we’re doing. This is a really vicious tool… if we decide that we are not doing well enough, we usually conclude that we were not perfect enough, we need to try harder and so perfectionism becomes a vicious cycle driving us.

Paradoxically, an unexpected result of comparison and perfectionism is that we are more likely to do work that fits in rather than stands out. The drive for comparison and fitting can kill our individuality and our creativity.

The alternative is to be ourselves. Nobody can do a better job of being you than you do…

And the scary thing about that is that people might not like you… hence the drive to fit in!

Once we realise that we are enough, just as we are, it takes away so much of the pressure to fit in. We find where we belong. We find the people who love us for who we are not for who we are trying to be

When people love you for who you are – or they don’t and that’s up to them – you are free to explore the uniqueness that you add to the fruit salad of life, not trying to be an apple, an orange, just you.

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” said Coco Chanel. We lose something wonderful about ourselves if we try to conform, to fit in, to avoid surprising others. And sometimes being different turns out to be awesome!

Where has simply being you worked well for you?

Do let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Best wishes,