I turned in my Physics lab the other day and realized I was the only one completing it in pen anymore. At the beginning of class, we were instructed to turn in labs in pen, because scientific data is meant to be transparent to its readers. Mistakes were meant to be crossed out, not erased, so that anyone reading the data could see the bread crumb trail to the final numbers.
So, the next lab, I thought, heck, I’ll just leave it in pencil, because doing it in pen meant more work, right? To print out a new copy and record my data again would just cost time.
And then I caught myself. I was lowering my standard because of what I saw my peers doing. I let myself off the hook after comparing myself to classmates, and thought, I’m doing more than I need to.
I lowered my bar.
It’s natural to gauge our progress in this game of life against nearby compadres, and if we’re doing OK compared to them then we consider things to be copacetic.
But, I encourage you to continue asking yourself, are you doing the best you can do for you? Not compared to your work colleagues, your friends, or your siblings. Are you pushing, stretching, and growing in your own right?
I believe we all know the honest answer to this in our guts. If the answer is “not so much,” that’s OK; awareness is the first step. Commit to making a small change today, and make a long-term commitment to your self-improvement. Don’t let yourself cheat yourself out of becoming the absolute best version of YOU.
We all have a different story, a different journey, and have arrived at this specific day from completely different trajectories. So the next time you begin the comparison game, just remember that your story is valuable and pertinent to your own goals.
You have tools in your toolbox that are specific to who you are, and they can help you succeed in your own powerful way. Raise the bar high for yourself. Greatness is already inside you ready and waiting to be borne out.
“Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” – Mia Hamm