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June 9, 2020

(Don’t) Go Compare!

In her multi-million selling book Carol Dweck stresses that the difference between success and failure in life is largely determined by mind-set. She stresses that people with a learning mind-set see almost everything as a learning opportunity. They know that mistakes are inevitable, especially if you strive for success, and it’s what you learn from the inevitable setbacks that makes all the difference. Defensive people, on the other hand, often swerve difficult tasks and challenges in case they fail, as for anyone with a fragile ego, ‘failure’ is be avoided at all costs. For example, younger siblings are massively over-represented at the elite sport level. It turns out that many compared themselves to an older sibling and strove to catch them up (the Murray brothers in Tennis is just one of countless examples). However, many younger siblings with a negative mind-set just pick an unrelated sport or walk away from it entirely. We need to accept that we are who we are and that: ‘always there will be greater and lesser’ others. The trick is to not just wish, but to accept reality and do.

Comparing ourselves with others is inevitable but there are 2 golden rules:

  1. We shouldn’t do it too often
  2. When we do, we should ask of someone impressive, not why am I not like them (it’s not fair!) but how can I emulate them (since when was life fair, we can make our own luck).

Ask yourself, on a 1 to 10 scale, to what extent you apply these golden rules. Then seek to halve the gap to 10. If you scored 4 try and get to 7. An impressive 8? Then try and get to 9.

Posted by RBME Team