Why Comparing Yourself to Others Will Ruin You

Justin Zoradi

Every so often, I’ll get an email from someone that goes like this:

“Wow, I’ve seen you’ve been doing X, Y, and Z. Awesome. Have you ever heard of blank organization or blank writer? They basically do the same thing you do and are really successful. Maybe you can learn from them?”

When I’m at my best, I can learn something from them. But more often than not, every time I read that email, I just feel horrible about myself.

I feel terrible because I start comparing the beginning of my journey with another person’s middle or end. I compare another person’s best attribute to my very worst.

Here’s the truth:
Comparing yourself to others will ruin you. It will end your dream before it can start.

The comparison game steals your joy, halts your momentum, and brings your greatest insecurities to the forefront of your mind.

*Photo by Michael Johnson, Creative Commons

It’s important to learn the mental skill of acknowledging another person’s success, without letting it throw you off track. This takes discipline. It takes heartache. It takes the emotional capacity to see beyond what you’re feeling in the now.

Here’s a tip:
When you come across that story of someone who is more successful than you at the thing you are doing, repeat this to yourself over and over:

“They have their story and I have mine. They have their story and I have mine. They have their story…”

This quick mental exercise will help quell the anxiety of comparison.

Despite the perceived success of someone else, if you can keep showing up, you’ll eventually carve out a niche for you and you alone. It doesn’t matter if it takes you ten years to do what someone else did in one year. The point is that you’re doing it in the first place.

Soon enough, others may begin comparing themselves to you.


I want you to do something for me:

In the comment section below, write who or what it is you compare yourself to. You can leave out or change names if you want. The point here isn’t to trash someone else, but to publicly share why you shouldn’t compare yourself to a uniquely different story than yours.

I hope you find it liberating.

Justin Zoradi

Justin Zoradi

This is a post by Justin Zoradi, one of the Storyline Contributors. Pick up a copy of his latest book, Doing Work That Matters, on his website and make sure to follow along on Twitter (@justinzoradi) for regular updates. To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.