Letting Go of “Being Better Than”

It’s okay.  I may not be a as good as (insert name), but at least I am better than (insert name).  How many times have you heard these or similar words?

For many of use, we live and work in a world of comparisons and competition, starting in early childhood and again, for many, encouraged by our parents, our families, our schools.

But does being better than really work for you, enrich or add value?  Looking in the mirror and not seeing yourself but rather, someone else’s achievements seemingly mocking you is unhealthy and simply wrong – wrong for you and wrong for the other person.  

I would suggest that while some comparisons, or applying learnings, from successful leaders or businesses, may be helpful, it cannot and must not be the end game.  

By constantly comparing and looking externally, you are at risk of losing sight and focus on your own leadership journey.  You lament and stumble on your setbacks, rather than seeing the opportunity to learn and grow.  

You view Person A as a funny, skilled speaker, an engaged listener and an all-round good Leader.  Yet you do not know their back story.  You do not know or understand their journey and the setbacks in that journey.  But you do know your journey – all the good, the bad, and the ugly – the foot-dragging episodes, the tears, the joy – all your experiences.

Yes, take inspiration from others –but apply it in a way that works for your leadership journey.  

Steven Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” takes us away from social media trends – all trying to outdo each other and simply reminds us that change can only start from inside each of us.  The first Habit is to be proactive, focus and act on what you can control and influence, instead of what you can’t.  

If you want to be a leader or are already on leadership path, first look within and see what is great about you and see also where you want to grow.  Relish your uniqueness and move forward. 

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