Comparison Killer: Why you should feel excited, not insecure when other people are better than you
* I’m writing this post partly as a remedy to my own insecurities and comparison, and also as an encouragement to my friends and any other person out there who has felt insecure when comparing their journey to someone else’s.
“Crap. They’re so good.”
Why should I even try if they’re already so much better than me?
There’s those people:
People at the top of your industry.
Top influencers with all the followers.
They’re getting all the clients.
They’re getting featured everywhere you look.
They’re posting videos, blog posts, projects… they seem like a machine.
They’re making more money than you.
They’re SO much further ahead of you…
They might be someone online, or in your immediate community.
How do you feel when you see these people?
Allow me to Propose a different response:
Yup! Excited. Sounds sort of ridiculous. — And I’m not talking about a, “Hey, good for them.” While throwing shade at them in the back of your mind. — I’m talking about LEGIT-EXCITED.
Do you how how freaking hard it would be to be the VERY FIRST person to do anything? With no path to follow? No guide? No hints or tips? Nobody to learn from?
Think of the first person who flew into space. — “We’re pretty sure you’re not going to die.” LAUNCH!
Or the first person who hang-glided. — “Ok, I’ve strapped this giant kite/paper airplane to my back, now I’m going to test it by jumping off of a cliff!”
That would be terrifying. Scary. Intimidating.
Now think about how awesome those two things are in real life: Exhilarating. Life-changing. Amazing.
And you know that they are going to rock because you know that other people have done it already and they lived and had a great time.
Here’s a question:
Why are we encouraged and relieved to have a professional who is so much better than us along for the ride when we’re doing something new, like skydiving, but in business or creativity we feel threatened by people who are better than us?
We see a professional skateboarder at the X Games when we are a kid and then we feel inspired to get a board and learn a kickflip. But when we’re older, we see someone else who is getting all the attention because they are killing it in the same field as us and we get SALTY. 😳😂
It’s because we think that the only possibility for success is WIN-LOSE.
Either we are the best, or we are the worst. There are “Haves” and “Have-nots”. Either we make 6-figures in our first year of business and gain 10k followers, or we are a total loser.
We view things in extremes.
I was listening to a podcast recently where they were making this interesting point:
If we want to become a doctor, everybody knows that you’re going to have to go to 4 years of college, 4 years of graduate school and then spend another 4 years studying beyond that. And we’re all ok with that process, we’ve accepted it and we expect that’s what it’s going to take to even get STARTED as a doctor.
Then why is it that business and entrepreneurship is one of the ONLY areas where we think that we have to have immediate success without going through a training, experimenting, growing, trying-and-failing process?
That’s backwards. And it’s time to start thinking differently about these people, and most importantly, YOURSELF.
Here’s why you should feel excited, not insecure when other people are better than you:
The fact that you feel insecure around these people is GOOD, because it’s a confirmation of your passion and dedication to your pursuit.
It means that you care enough about what your’e doing that you consider other people who are skilled and experienced at it to be your competition.
Are they really your competitors, or can they be your TEACHERS?
Are they your rivals, or your TEAMMATES?
Having competitors is great. Because you challenge each other to be better, whether they know it or not.
If you’re in the field where there are no competitors, then I would question whether it’s even worth pursuing or not. The fact that there are other people who are doing great at the thing you want to do means that “There’s GOLD in them hills!”
Competition confirms that other people have already proven that SUCCESS IS POSSIBLE!
There’s no unknown. Because somebody has already gone before you and found what you’re seeking. You don’t have to guess-and-check whether it’s worth pursuing. Your competition is your proof-of-concept that your goal can yield results.
Think of some of the greatest rivalries in sports history.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady
Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird
It can be argued that these people accomplished what they did because they had such a strong rivalry. The competition in the rivalry itself was the fuel to push these two competitors far beyond any of their peers.
The rivalry DEFINED their greatness.
Competition pushes you far past what you believe to be the limits of your capacity and abilities.
You should get excited when there are competitors out there.
What is the difference between a team mate who is your rival and someone on the opposing team who is your rival? Not much, in terms of how it pushes you to perform.
You have to believe that their presence in your life or in your world or in your industry is a good thing, because of the effect it has on you calling. It challenges you to be better than them, and to observe them, study them, and find ways that you can deliver better results.
Competitors provide a benchmark to measure yourself up against.
If no one else is pushing the boundaries, there is a massive temptation to slack and to get comfortable. Competitors provide incentive for you to push your limits.
You should get excited when you find other people in your industry who are as good as you or better than you. The reality is that EVERY single person you meet is better than you at something.
“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
– Dale Carnegie
So instead of feeling threatened by these people, learn from them.
You should know who your biggest competition is.
Either in your products or services that you offer, or the experience that you are providing to people. You should know who is setting the pace and the benchmark for what you are pursuing.
Identify these people, and then chase them. If you are running with the rest of the pack in the race, you will never win.
In any race, there are FRONTRUNNERS: people who pull away from the pack, set a faster pace, and push themselves beyond what other people are willing to do.
There are often only a few people who do this, sometimes it’s only one person.
If you watch a long distance race, an endurance race, (which is what business and entrepreneurship is like), you will see that the frontrunners are the ones who challenged each other to run faster and hold a steady faster pace.
It’s fascinating, because they end up pulling further and further ahead of the pack. And the further down the line you go, the more consistently they maintain this fast pace, and keep challenging each other to maintain the pace, the gap between the frontrunners in the rest of the pack becomes larger and larger.
There might be a few people in your industry who come to mind when you think of the top 1%.
You might consider these people to be celebrities to the other professionals in customers in your industry.
These people are the frontrunners. They set the pace, and they forge into uncharted territory.
You should be chasing these people, studying them, learning from them, and begin considering them to be your equals, and possibly even your future friends.
Friends? Seriously? — YES. Think about who influences you the most: Your closest friends.
If you view these people as celebrities, then you place them in a category that you can never achieve. If you do not believe that you are worthy of being in the top 1% of your industry, then you will never achieve the same success that these people have. You have to believe that you are worthy of that level of success. You have to believe that you belong in the same room as them.
You have to believe that they don’t have anything different on the inside that you don’t have.
The only separation between these people and you is the amount of action that they took and how consistent they were at taking action; in addition to the knowledge and experience that they gained as a result.
Aside from that, you are just as valuable, important, and have the same world-changing potential as they do.
You may not have the external evidence yet, but you have the raw materials inside of you. And that means, you too can achieve greatness.
The moral of the story is this:
Be a comparison killer.
Get excited when you find other people who are better than you—seek them out—because you can learn from them and chase the faster pace that they are setting.
The fact that you feel insecure when you see other people being great it’s a good thing. It is confirmation inside your heart that you care about what you’re doing.
Your response to that insecure feeling should be an affirmation that you are just as valuable as those people. It is so important that you do not categorize them as someone who has a magical ability that you could never have.
You must affirm yourself that you are worthy of growing in skill and influence, like these experts. And then you must begin taking the necessary action to achieve success, using those who have gone before you as a model and a pace-setter for your journey.
You don’t have to be the best in the world to be extraordinary. Heck you don’t even have to be the best in your city to be successful!
other people don’t have to lose in order for you to win.
You don’t have to be better than everyone else. That shouldn’t be your goal. Your goal should be to LEARN from everybody else.
Every person you meet is better than you at something. That’s a FACT.
Believing that you have to beat someone at their own game screams of insecurity and low self-esteem.
It’s a scarcity mindset to think that there’s not enough success out there for everyone.
Scarcity thinks that there’s not enough clients, customers, followers, or dollars. That’s a LIE.
A person who is secure in their uniqueness doesn’t feel threatened when they meet/see other people who are killing it.
The most successful people INTENTIONALLY surround themselves with people who are better, smarter, further along, because they know that it pushes them forward.
It SUCKS to be the best person with nobody to challenge you. It’s BORING to be the most knowledgeable person in your group.
Yeah it might feel good for your ego, but it does NOTHING for your progress and personal development, and ultimately stunts your growth and limits your potential.
If your goal is to become the big fish in a small pond, knock yourself out. But that’s a recipe for mediocrity.
Your goal should be to become the big fish, then find a bigger pond every time you realize your growth has slowed.
We should intentionally seek out people who are better than us. And learn from them, chase them, and appreciate them, instead of envying them or hating on them just so we feel more comfortable staying in our small pond.
We say that we want success, but we don’t want to be around people who are running a faster pace.
To be clear, I don’t mean to chase douchey people who have massive egos and have gotten “success” by putting on a facde and tearing down others. You should be able to smell those people a mile away.
I’m talking about chasing after those who are the best in your field who are humble, generous, kind, and have character. Emulate THOSE people.
If your goal is comfort, then you should stop where you are.
Stop trying to be an entrepreneur/business owner. Stop trying to pursue anything that matters. Conform to the social norms. Stop dreaming.
But if you truly desire what you say you do. If you truly want greatness. If you truly want to be the best and make a great income and have freedoms that most people won’t have, then you need to have a massive perspective shift in how you view other successful people.
Stop categorizing them as the “haves” in your mind and start calling them your “peers”.
You can identify your perspective by your first gut reaction when you see people winning.
“Look at me! I’m RICH!” — As if All rich people are snobby and have it easy.
If you have a negative perspective of wealth, then you will NEVER be wealthy, because you want to avoid becoming a snob.
If you think those people have something you don’t have, like a secret superpower, or they got lucky, then you will never have what they have because you’ve given yourself an excuse why they are destined for success and you are not.
Reprogram yourself to view the top 1% of people in your industry as your peers.
You HAVE to believe that you are WORTHY of success in order for you to become successful.
You have to believe that you BELONG in the same room as those people in order to feel like you can learn from them and become their peer.
Comparison will KILL your business and your dream.
Unless you feel worthy of more, you will self-sabotage any time you start to make more progress than you think you’re worth.
Insecurity is a small view of yourself, and you will view the entire world through that lens, and other people will view YOU through that lens.
Trade low self worth for valuing yourself.
Trade comparison for compassion.
Trade jealousy for gratefulness.
Trade ego for a humble mindset.