Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. What are they doing, saying, posting?
Another PR? Damn it. Look who they’re hanging out with? Are you kidding me? They’re THAT big now? What the hell am I doing wrong?
It’s the same monologue we play over, and over, and over again with ourselves. We see what our competition is doing online and we panic. We allow negative thoughts to creep in, we become frustrated at our journey’s “apparently” slower pace, and the limited supply of energy we had for today is gone. It is completely drained worrying about things out of our control, people on different journeys, and situations we could never impact. Because their journey is not ours – and our real competition is not them.
One of Compete Every Day’s most popular Instagram graphics in 2015 read: “If you continuously compete with others, you become bitter, but if you continuously compete with yourself, you become better.” I reposted it and wrote a caption detailing my own issues of competing with others instead of focusing on competing with myself. It’s a struggle. But it’s natural. Comparison is a social skill we learn at an early age. When a friend tells you a story you automatically brainstorm on how you can relate. Your dog did the cutest thing the other day? That reminds me of when my dog did xyz! It’s called a conversation. You listen, you relate, you bring up supporting stories, and the conversation moves forward. So naturally, we notice how we relate to others. And we notice how we don’t relate.
In comes that awkward moment in a conversation when you realize you don’t have much in common, and you’re like… “yeah, so the weather has been crazy for January in Texas.” Sometimes it’s an innocent difference of opinion. Or there might be generational differences. Or they start describing their life’s accomplishments and you’re like, “Whiskey-tango-foxtrot? How are you so successful and I’ve barely scratched the surface?”