Enterprise

Are you caught in comparison trap?

trap

Essentially, comparing or measuring the self against others is a modus operandi of the human mind. PHOTO | POOL

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Summary

  • Some people derive pleasure, worthiness and sense of importance by comparing themselves with peers who may be less endowed in one way or another.
  • Regardless of what you become and achieve in life there is always going to be someone out there who is more successful, more popular and wealthier than you are.
  • One of the most expensive mistakes small business owners make is to compare themselves with others and incur costs trying to be like them or even better.

Everywhere you look people are better or worse than you. But more often you focus on those who have more than you – be it looks, money, likes or followers on social media, academic credential and customers.

Some people derive pleasure, worthiness and sense of importance by comparing themselves with peers who may be less endowed in one way or another.

Essentially, comparing or measuring the self against others is a modus operandi of the human mind.

On a positive note, comparison can be inspirational. The success of your contemporaries and competitors can rev up the urge to work hard and achieve the same or more. The mere recognition that attributes are a notch higher than others in the locality can deliver a boost to your self-esteem.

However, in most cases comparison turns out to be harmful. As former American president Theodore Roosevelt once said “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

It can make you feel chronically sad, worthless, inferior or depressed. This reduces creativity, enthusiasm and productivity in your work and consequently accelerates failure.

The best antidote of comparison is to develop and nurture thoughts of gratitude and contentment.

Regardless of what you become and achieve in life there is always going to be someone out there who is more successful, more popular and wealthier than you are. So it is futile to spend sleepless nights trying to be like so and so.

One of the most expensive mistakes small business owners make is to compare themselves with others and incur costs trying to be like them or even better. The fact that your competitors have better offices, modern fleet or braded items does not make you inferior if you don’t have such.

It is worth noting that some of those ahead of you have been around longer than you and probably they began in a very humble way and grew gradually over the years. Given time, you too will one day achieve much but only if you appreciate yourself and mind your own business.

Another reason why you should cease from comparing yourself with others is what is seen in public may be very deceptive. The public and more so in this era of social media never tells the whole story. Some people or companies may look very happy or successful but could be struggling.

One honest businessman was once asked what he felt being very successful compared to his peers. He philosophically confessed that most of the time he felt like someone ridding on the back of a tiger. While those around him are cheering and beholding his courage, he suffered great pain and fear and wondered how on hell did he get on top of the beast and how can he get out without being devoured. He was debt ridden.

The moment you stop comparing yourself to others you end up feeling great about yourself and what you have achieved in your life. This motivates you to work hard and achieve more.

Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and the author of ‘The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market’.