How comparing yourself to others leads to self-doubt
"Don't let comparison steal your joy, profits and prosperity"
I was reminded last week on how easy it is to let self-doubt creep into your mind and take over your overall feeling.
In the same week, I was also reminded how quickly you can turn it around and the impact it has on everyone.
Before I dive into some of the points I would like to make, I’d like to propose a question.
Why do we develop self-doubt? Why do we let something build up to a point where it can over take our feeling's?
From my own personal experience, self doubt arises because of the process of “comparison” or “comparing”. In a recent blog I wrote about the how judging and being judged can really impact your self value.
"If judging is a root cause of self-doubt then comparing would be a driver to accelerate that self doubt from a thought towards actually believing in it"
You see comparing does something to the mind. It constructs a process which forces you to pick a part your weaknesses, or everything that you are not, and before you know it you are slowly constructing a person that may not resemble who you really are.
For example, your goal is to do a slam dunk in basketball, you are 4ft tall and you begin comparing yourself to a 7ft tall professional basketball athlete who seems to slam dunk with ease. You get frustrated because over a period of time you physically cannot dunk the ball like the 7ft tall professional athlete.
As you begin to compare your reasons why, you also begin to get down on yourself, developing self-doubt. You begin questioning the differences and making the differences your point of value.
For example, “I’ll never be able to dunk the ball, he was gifted with the gene of being tall, its unfair!” or “he was born a natural athlete I will never be able to jump the way he does!”
From here it is a slippery slope to believing in your own self-doubt.
Another typical example would be losing weight. Often people use another person to compare themselves with “I want to look like that!”, but what if your physical body shape and make up physically cannot allow you to get the body of that other person?
Again, by comparing you begin to focus on the negative differences and before you know it, you give up on the process of losing weight, looking good or feeling fit, and you begin believing in the self-doubt that say's things like “I’ll never lose weight” or “my body was never designed that way!”
So, if comparing is a slippery slope to self doubt how would we counter it?
My personal experience is to develop a reason why you are wanting to compare in the first place. In a previous blog about understanding your why I write about the importance of discovering your reasons for change, or reasons for doing what you are doing.
You see its important to always go back to your main reason why, it creates a balanced process especially when doing something as natural as comparing yourself to someone else.