They are many occasions where comparison can steal our joy. Sometimes, it even steals our personality...
Personality begins where comparison ends. What an interesting statement. Could it possibly be true, that when we are molded by the pressure to be identical to everyone else (and particularly our peers) we eventually lose our own individuality and uniqueness?
Well, it seems reasonable to come to the conclusion that, when we are trying to be everyone one else, we find it harder to be our true self. And we’re not just talking about imitation; we’re referring to outright comparison and judging ourselves based on other people.
At times we will feel the urge to scrutinize others and compare ourselves to them, and when we do, we completely shift our focus, often quite detrimentally. We move it from where it should really be – on improving ourselves for the right reasons – to changing who we are for the sake of it. When we see differences between ourselves and 'our competition', we take those differences as weakness on one side. It is as if we cannot accept the fact that different people have different ways of doing things. Slowly then, we devalue ourselves because we tell ourselves that we must be doing something wrong if our methods are different to those we observe and respect.
That’s why constantly comparing your work other people’s work eventually becomes unhealthy. You can lose sight of your own achievements, and then you joy gradually fades. We tend to compare ourselves to people who have SO much more experience than us, when we are just beginners in a field, and we bring ourselves down because we believe that we’re not good enough.
The point is, when you keep comparing yourself to others and thinking you’re not good enough – you start to lose your original style. You lose the flair and taste that comes with your unique point of view. It is a huge loss when you start making radical changes to yourself because you’ve managed to convince your brain that your manner of expression is ‘weird’ or ‘not worth it’.
Some people have genuine pride in the artwork they produce. They appreciate the fact that they have put their heart and soul into a project and have done the very best they could. But then they get sidetracked by lifting their heads up, scanning around and comparing their work to every other person they can find.
And when they realise that their work is massively different from the other paintings they see, they basically become heart broken. They can’t believe it! No one’s painting looks like theirs.
In fact, they come across many paintings that look similar to each other, but theirs is always the odd one out. And so starts the self-doubt. The painting, which they once cherished – is nothing more than a substandard piece of trash to them now.
Why? Because comparison has led the artist to question the validity of his painting and its worth. Comparison has taken the joy out.
It is the most tragic story.
Diversity, diversity, diversity. Little does the artist know that his own unique viewpoint and style of art gives his painting character, life and zest. His painting will one day become famous, and his style of art, world renowned.
For us to develop and embrace beautiful aspects of our personality, we have to stop comparing our every action to that of the person next door. Admire the work of the person next door. Appreciate their point of view and unique spin. But don’t think you have to copy them to be correct. We should never let the fear of being different stop us from putting out our best work, and work that is completely aligned with our personal vision.
Once you maintain a high standard (for yourself) and continue on that path without fear of bringing something different to the table, then your personality blossoms. You realise that you (just like every other individual) have a unique skill set which is both valuable and important. With that affirmation, you then grow, succeed and dominate your niche. With that covered, your self-esteem will skyrocket and you will never feel uncomfortable or in the shadow of others.
Sometimes we compare ourselves to others as part of the pretense that it will make us feel better about ourselves, but it does not. No good comes out of that kind of comparison. Leave the comparison behind and be able to admire the hard work and time you put in, without mention of the person next door. Then you realise that what you do counts, and you will be able to harness your true potential, doing so separate from distraction or discouragement.
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