Comparison is a trap: avoid getting caught

ApplesAndOrangesIf you’re a student, summer is a good time to take stock of  your habits, particularly what kind of habits help you to succeed, and what habit hinder your progress.

One of the least helpful habits is comparing yourself to others – your classmates, your siblings, your parents,  celebrities you idolize (athletes, musicians, actors).  Have you noticed

that when you compare yourself to others you almost always are lacking. You think, “They are smarter,  they are much better looking; they are more popular; they have the nicer clothes” and on and on.  The list is potentially never ending because our culture thrives on comparison. Turn on the TV and most of what you see are commercials, and  commercials are built on the premise you are not enough, just as you are. Hence you need to use this shampoo, or drive that car, or the other telephone service.

The antidote to this is to compare yourself only to yourself.  Are you improving? Have you learned from past mistakes? Are you pushing the envelope of how much or how well you can do?  Is there room for growth?  By asking these questions and reflecting on them for yourself, you stand the chance of really learning something that can help you right now and contribute to your strong foundation for future challenging tasks.

How do you compare yourself to others? Can you helpfully evaluative yourself?

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