Reflection in a puddle of a person standing

“The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday”. Unknown

As social animals, it’s only natural that we observe others around us and make comparisons with them: how big and strong, clever and good-looking they are compared with us.


There are advantages in recognizing talent and success in other people: it is through social learning that we have learned to adapt and survive. Model the success of those who you identify with and respect.


However, in making these comparisons, our emotional-thinking mind can use absolute terms to describe what is perceived, making its judgement in dichotomous terms and adding emotion to form labels that can damage self-esteem and self-belief. Rather than someone else being bigger and stronger than us (comparative adjectives), our own ‘self-labels’ take the negative opposite: we’re small and weak, thick and ugly. And we’ll always be that way.


In your daily discipline of becoming more confident, the only person you need compare yourself with is you. How did you do yesterday, how are you doing today? What do you notice, and what one or two things can you do differently to do even better? It’s not all-or-nothing, you versus them, but small steps in the right direction every time.


Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash.