In working with teams, leaders, and organizations, I have experienced a theme that runs through the struggles they all face. It is the struggle of comparison. Whether the comparison is to an individual personality, success levels of others, cross-functional teams or marketplace competitors, struggle occurs when we hang out in this arena of evaluation and judgment.
The focus of comparison does not live only in teams or at work, we all struggle with it as part of the human condition. Nearly every person I have coached, regardless of how successful they are, struggles with comparison, at least part of the time.
The problem does not come from comparing outcomes, as that can actually generate inspiration and possibility thinking. It’s the comparison of personal worth, value, or contribution that is the source of the struggle.
Releasing the struggle of trying to be someone you’re not generates tremendous relief. Some of the descriptions I hear include a sense of ease overall, a physical sensation of softening in the heart, belly, or shoulders and an overall feeling of letting go…like a big exhale.
We are each unique in the truest sense of the word. Inimitable. Matchless. Irreplaceable. Exceptional. Think of a precious child in your life. Close your eyes and see their face. Hear their expression, their experiences, their learning, their joy, their desire and their free-spirited self. There is no way you could every truly compare that child to someone else. It is so easy to see their uniqueness. So why would we look in the mirror or watch others and compare who we are to who they are? It’s actually absurd! It’s snubbing the Universal Source – however that is defined for you.
You have full permission and the responsibility to establish your own goals for your own reasons. And you get to chart your own course toward achieving those goals. It doesn’t matter how your goals compare to others, they belong to the one and only you. At the same time, recognize and remember that the possibilities of your full self-expression are limitless and absolutely beyond compare.