Why You Can’t Judge YourSELF According to the Lives of Others
Some of my clients are quick to judge themselves—sometimes harshly—when they look at others and see accomplishments or characteristics that they feel they should have been able to achieve or embody. “We come from similar circumstances and had similar opportunities,” one Vice President of a financial firm told me. “I must not be putting in the time or effort—or something.”
Not necessarily. The truth is that no two people have the same life story. That means that no two people have the same challenges, the same resources or the same path to success. It really, truly matters whether or not, even in the early chapters of your life story, negative patterns of thought were prompted by troubling events. It really matters whether or not you had a mentor. It really matters whether or not your role models met with any unexpected turmoil in their lives. It really matters whether your parents predicted you would succeed or would struggle. It really matters whether you perceived yourself to be the smartest of your siblings or the least smart.
Everything matters. No life is the same as any other. That’s why it is essential to examine your life story—past and present—and then create a crystal-clear plan for the future. That clarity requires removing resistors wired into the “software” of your mindset by events and relationships you lived through.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to optimize performance, mood, energy, focus or relationships. The solution is personal because every person is a unique individual. That’s why the proper comparison isn’t between your level of success and contentment and anyone else’s. The proper comparison is between the level of success and contentment you have today and that which you can achieve tomorrow.
Dr. Keith Ablow