“Comparison robs you of the moment, saps your confidence and sends you chasing a goal that was never even yours to begin with.”
There are so many thought leaders, visionaries and transformational gurus that we can find with a simple Google search. Combined with the potential role models in our real life and you can find any number of people to inspire and guide your development.
I am an avid reader of self-development, leadership and mindset books and listen to my favourite podcasts nearly every day whilst out walking or driving. There really is no excuse for not being inspired to aim high and succeed whether that is in your career, health or relationships. There is no excuse for not continuing to learn and grow.
Yet we humans have this inner predilection for creating crushing comparison games that hold us back from being our best.
If you are an emerging leader or a leader ready to advance further up the ranks there is a real and meaningful difference between 1) watching senior officers and taking note of qualities or actions that you admire and 2) comparing your ability to emulate those same qualities or actions.
In the first instance you are taking their wisdom and skillset and considering what works, what you like and equally what you don’t like. These assessments become a part of your working model of good leadership, which you then operationalize in your own unique way. For example, if you admire their negotiating skills and the results they achieve you are similarly motivated to keep crafting your own negotiating style. Their achievements encourage you to work harder because you know you can one day be as skilled in your own leadership.
In the second instance the comparison game steps in and now rather than the focus being on how great they are, the focus is turned inwards to how lacking you are in comparison. So you start to replicate their style. Using the same example as above, you try to emulate their negotiating style only to fail or even be criticized for the exact same behaviour that they admire in your counterpart.
So you feel unfairly treated or maybe you just decide that you are not good enough.
I have made this mistake as I have been working to build my own consulting business. Having never worked for myself before I looked to the ‘gurus’ who offer ‘proven’ 7 step frameworks for success. These steps worked for them and so it will work for me.
Wrong. I don’t need to model my business on their style. I need to get clear on my style and develop and improve that. I need to focus on my lane.
Comparing myself to those who are running in a different lane, who have a different personality and whose values may be very different to mine just left me confused and feeling like a failure.
The more I focus on my lane the less confusion there is and the more I value my talents and skills.
Always be open to learning from others but don’t compare your race to their race and don’t try and run in their lane. Stay in your own lane.
Through delivering keynote presentations, facilitating corporate workshops and coaching, Kim helps individuals and organisations develop leaders from the inside out.
To have Kim speak to your people or at your event contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org