Verbally attacking a person you disagree with will only upset them. It is better to ground your actions from a positive place than it is to lash out. Picking yourself apart will only make yourself feel miserable. It is better to define what success means to you than it is to compare yourself to other person’s standards. If you’d like to be more positive and self-confident, please consider these five reasons why you shouldn’t criticize or compare yourself to others.
1. You’re wasting your time.
“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” ― Marcus Auerlius
All people are inherently stubborn, so it is more productive to lead by example than it is to criticize. If you care about a cause, don’t insult people who disagree. Instead, do whatever you can to educate them. Write blogs, create videos, share articles, or volunteer with a non-profit organization capable of making a bigger impact. If you wish your children would exercise, don’t lecture them about the importance of activity. Instead, show them how fun exercise can be. Take a family hike, sign the kids up for a youth sports league (try different ones to find out what they like!), or play hide-and-seek in your yard.
2. Context is everything.
“Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people.” ― Nido Qubein
Humans are too complex to compare. Every person is born into a different set of circumstances, carrying a different set of baggage, driven by a different set of principles. It’s easier to save money if your parents paid for your education. It’s harder to trust a new romantic interest if your previous partner cheated on you. The next time you are tempted to judge, remember that every person’s actions are influenced by variables that you couldn’t possibly understand. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to another, remember that their life story bears no resemblance to yours. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
3. It damages your self-worth.
“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” ― Iyanla Vanzant
Role-models are wonderful, but beware of hero worship. There is nothing inherently special about politicians, athletes, movie stars, musicians, or celebrities of any kind. They’re not a super human or magical being or flawless creature. They’re a regular person just like you and me. Sure, they might be rich and famous, but that’s probably because they were dedicated enough to push through a series of setbacks and disappointment. The specific details will vary from person to person, but no person becomes successful without struggling first. Most people don’t fail due to a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of patience.
4. Luck is a result of effort.
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” ― Thomas Jefferson
Luck is what happens when effort, timing, and opportunity collide. Babe Ruth once said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” Even the world’s greatest athletes must accept the reality that life includes hits and misses. Babe struck out a lot more than he hit home-runs, but that didn’t stop him. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up,” as he said. You can practice really hard to improve your average, but you’ll never be perfect. Failure isn’t something to get upset about. It is temporary. The important thing is to learn from it and try again.
5. Success can only be defined by one person: you.
“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.” ― W.P. Kinsella
It is impossible to define “success” in any meaningful way. What makes you feel happy and fulfilled depends on your priorities and personal philosophy. Some people are motivated by money and the freedom it provides. Others are motivated by a desire to help people solve a problem or overcome a struggle. Others want to create a work of art that moves people, provide a wonderful life for their family, share what they feel is an important message, or whatever strikes their fancy. Comparing yourself to another person’s standards is a waste of energy. Define what matters to you and pursue it with everything you’ve got.
Did these reasons why you shouldn’t criticize or compare yourself to others convince you? If so, tell us how you’re going to take action in the comments. Click “share” to invite your friends to the conversation.