It’s college football season, and if you know me, you know I love college football, in particular my beloved Sooners. Several weeks ago, while watching highlights, I had a major a-ha moment about comparing yourself to others. Click on the video below to hear my epiphany and how it can help you stop comparing yourself to others.
When it comes to other people, we only see their highlight reels. Big plays, key moments, game winning touchdowns. We just get the highlights. What they tell us, what they post on social media, what they show. We’re seeing a “best of” version of their life. The highlights. And when you watch a highlight reel, players and teams look pretty awesome.
On the other hand, you have full access to the raw, unedited footage of your life. You see all of the game, including dropped passes, missed tackles, and interceptions. You know all of your yucky stuff. Your fears, your baggage, your mistakes, your insecurities. You know every time you snap at your partner, feel hurt by a friend, or mess up at work. You have an all access pass to your stuff.
You’re comparing other people’s highlight reels to your raw, unedited footage. And those two things will never look similar.
As someone who hears people’s stuff all day long, I promise you, everyone has their stuff. Everyone struggles. Often in deep and painful ways. You just don’t see it. And because we don’t see it, it’s easy to think that it’s not there or that it’s not really that bad. This often leads us down a path of self-criticism and comparison. We focus on our flaws. We feel inadequate and alone. We wonder what’s wrong with us.
It’s natural to compare yourself to others. You’re human. However, it’s important to catch yourself in these moments, redirecting your attention to the fuller picture.
So when you find yourself comparing yourself others, stop. Take a breath. Gently remind yourself that you are comparing their highlight reel to your unedited footage. And that will always be an unfair match up.
PS: Did you like this post? Then you’ll probably like this one too. Warning: Self-Criticism Doesn’t Work Like You Think It Does.