There’s a trend going on with coaching, which I do not like, it’s, “Don’t compare yourself to others.” I’m thinking, “Why is that a bad thing?” What has happened though, is people think comparing to others will make you feel inferior, and you have low self-esteem because other people are doing so much better, and stuff like that.
But I never looked at it that way, because if I want to compare myself, don’t you want to compare yourself against the best, and actually, figure out what they’re doing and maybe you’re not, and what they’re training, and how they’re studying, and what their skills are? To me that makes sense.
But unfortunately, a lot of people are trying to protect their egos and protect their identities, so they’re in their little bubble and they don’t compare to other people. It’s like, “Okay, just do what I’ve been doing, do what I’ve been doing.” But you have no idea if it’s good enough.
All I know is that when I compared myself to the best golfers, or to the best speakers, I was learning. I did not take it as a hit to my ego like, “Oh, I’m not good enough, oh my gosh.”
It is, “No, I gotta get better.” And so I used it as motivation, as looking at what other people are doing, saying, “Huh, do I have that skill? Do I need that skill?”
Comparing yourself doesn’t mean you actually have to agree with it. It doesn’t even mean you have to take any action on it. But don’t you want to know what your competitors are doing? Don’t you want to know who are the best of the best in your industry and what they’re doing? Of course, you do.
You now need to be realistic in your own inventory of your own skills to know, “Huh, where do I measure up with that? If that person’s the best at that, and I’m here, guess what? I have a performance gap that I need to work on.” Comparing can actually be a good thing. Knowing that you’re in for the long haul anyways for success, this is not just a one trick thing. You’re in it to get better, and better, and better, so you might as well compare yourself against the best of the best.
When you’re performing for success, you certainly want to take inventory of your own skills, how you perform in certain situations, but it’s good to look at who are the best and the best are doing. In the industry, Blockbuster did not compare themselves to Netflix until it was way too late. And then, no more Blockbuster. You have to know what’s going on, to be able to adjust and to adapt.
Let’s start comparing a little bit more, from the idea of looking to compare, to learn, to get better, and then you’re gonna perform for success.