Apple and Orange differenceTrue confession.  I have been caught in a Comparison Trap.

I have been comparing myself to other people and wondering why everyone is better than me.  I have to tell you, this is a horrible place to be. When I compare myself to others, I see how they are wonderful, and how I’m not good enough, and I’m left feeling very deflated about myself.  Not only do I feel down, but, I can’t see the possibilities of what I can be. Being in a Comparison Trap is damaging.

It can look like this:

“He is so great at analysis.”  That’s why I’m not good at my job.  I’m not good at analysis.  I must not be good enough.

“She is so great at competition.  I don’t know how to compete.  No wonder I can never get ahead.  I must not be good enough.

“She has so much discipline.  I don’t have that kind of discipline.  I must not be good enough.”

You get the picture. It’s a classic pity party.  We all fall into this trap at one time or another.  It can be hard to escape. So, what do we do?  How can we get out of the Comparison Trap?

We must figure out how to appreciate what is unique about us.  We must embrace our strengths.  

It can look like this:

“She is great at analysis and finding the root cause of a problem.  I really appreciate this talent and that’s why I ask her for help with analysis. On the other hand, I am a strong communicator and she comes to me for thoughts on communicating more effectively.”

In reality, when we compare ourselves to others, we are not comparing apples to apples.  We are comparing apples to oranges.  Each of us is a unique constellation of strengths and weaknesses, different from each other, and each of our constellations has its own beautiful light that shines.  Comparing ourselves to others only serves to make us miserable.

When you compare yourself to another, you really are comparing apples to oranges. Instead, claim your strengths. Know that you are special in your unique strengths. Instead of being caught in the Comparison Trap, escape by owning your strengths and sharing your light with others.