They try a little and you try more. They win sometimes and you win more. They are smart, but you are clearly smarter.
You are better than them; right?
Which brings up a bigger question: Who are they?
You can always find someone that you are better than. It’s not that hard.
You might be a better businessman than the homeless person sitting outside your office. You are probably a better athlete than your child. Chances are, you know more than a fifth grader. You are better than them.
And while those are extreme examples, they are a lot like the comparisons that we make to justify how good we are. Instead of comparing ourselves to the best, we find somebody that we are better than. And because we are better than them, that somehow is an excuse for the rest of our inadequacies.
It’s silly demotivational mind-trash.
It’s the primal, defensive thinking rooted in fear and pain rather than the inspiration of wanting to be better at any cost. It’s a mindset of placating failure rather than demanding more from yourself — even when you are not sure you are capable of doing more.
This “better than someone, somewhere” attitude shows up in how we talk about goals and expectations for ourselves. We find ourselves talking eloquently about “being reasonable” and “being realistic”. We think we are being classy and sophisticated. And we are dead wrong.
Those are never the attitudes of a champion. Those are never the intentions of a superstar.
Some psychologists would tell us that aiming for too big of goals and failing creates unnecessary disappointment; and that disappointment is crippling. But they are looking at performance from the wrong angle. A common trait among all high-achievers is their willingness to push themselves in uncomfortable situations where failure is the most likely option.
They do this because they understand a simple concept.
They could compare themselves to others around them and still look better than some. But the real measure for comparison is not those around them. It’s the person they could be. That’s what superstars compare themselves to.
Being better than they should be. And it directly results in breakthrough performances. In moments of life changing experience. They become better than anyone.
Which brings us back to where we started. You are already better than them. It’s not even a contest. But are you better than you?
That’s the real comparison to make.
Realize that everyone on this earth is unique and special, everyone on this earth has their own unique spirit, talents and abilities.
Remember that everyone includes YOU and as such, you are just as worthy of people’s acceptance and love as the next person, no matter what.
Realize that no one is “better than you”. They are who they are and you are you.
Stop worrying about what others think of you. They are at least as worried about what others are thinking of them as you are. Instead, focus on how you feel about yourself.
Accept it if someone is in fact better at a specific skill than you and congratulate them. You’ll feel better about the situation, and yourself knowing that you are mature enough to get past it.
We are all just human beings living our lives the best way we can, and no matter what our beliefs, talents, abilities, orientation, etc. You are not better than anyone, and no one is better than you.
Take a few moments to meditate in the morning and evening on the qualities that are unique to you and how you can become a better you, rather than compete with others.
Be aware of what talents that you have.
Make sure you don’t go overboard and start believing you are the one who is better than others, as this will likely backfire on your self-esteem when you find others are not inclined to agree with that point of view. Don’t get cocky or you will become stocky.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.