23. DO YOU WASTE YOUR TIME COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS?
I found using the following analogy rather useful when helping clients realise that comparing ourselves to others is quite futile:
If you have a home that has a garden, then you may have gardens on either side of you, belonging to your neighbours.
The state of the gardens may vary: The garden on one side may be overgrown, unkempt and filled with weeds. The garden on the other side might be well tended and filled with beautiful flowers and shrubs.
The state of your own garden could lie somewhere in between – a little messy with a few really nice plants.
So what might you do or feel? Would you:
1) Ignore your neighbour’s gardens?
2) Get irritated with the overgrown untidy garden?
3) Or would you become filled with envy with regards the beautiful green garden?
This analogy may sound trite especially if you’re not a gardener, however I am sure that you can think of situations that may apply more aptly to you, especially if you sometimes feel that ‘things are greener on the other side’.
My point is that we often waste a lot of time concentrating on other people’s failures or successes.
The more you spend time worrying about other peoples failures or successes, or other people’s gardens, the less time you’ll have to tend to your own ‘garden’. And this is how time gets wasted.
Generally speaking, there will always be less successful or more successful people than you.
So isn’t it far more worthwhile to just concentrate on your life and what you want to achieve?
There is of course also nothing wrong with asking your neighbour or people you admire for advice or tips. In fact these days it is quite usual for people to have mentors.
If however, you have self-worth issues, then comparing yourself to other people’s accomplishments might suit you. After all it’s a great way of putting yourself down and focusing on your failures rather than your achievements.
We love making ourselves feel worthless. It’s a behavioural habit that most humans use. And focusing on other’s accomplishments is a convenient way of not looking too closely at ourselves.
So once again I repeat, ‘Watch yourself like a hawk’. Check your knee-jerk reactions and behavioural habits that may be getting in the way of you moving forward, especially if you find yourself comparing yourself to others.
You could be wasting so much time, time which could be better spent developing yourself, your relationships and your career. So please do stop ‘looking into other people’s gardens and wondering if it’s greener on the other side.
Note: © 2014 Information Copyright Deidré Wallace
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