What Comparison Steals

By September 23, 2016 No Comments
Rear-view of an embracing couple looking at their new home proudly

An excited young couple moves into their first home together in a nice, well-built community. It should be a time of joy and happiness, but all they can focus on is how established some of their other neighbors homes are. Instead of thinking about the blessings provided by this new home, they focus on the nicer yard, deck, pool, cars, and appliances of their neighbors. They should be happy, in love, and living life to the fullest. However, they are sad, miserable, and constantly thinking about what they don’t have.

A young coach spends too much time reading the headlines and rankings in the paper. Instead of focusing on wonderful opportunity he has, he spends precious time comparing himself to the 20 and 30 year veterans who’ve built success over the years. The young coach should be full of energy and passion to build his program, but instead he’s full of worry, angst, and self-doubt.


A high school athlete focuses too much attention on comparing his sock and shoe game to the other kids at tryouts. He focuses solely on his appearance as he enters the gym. He looks good, but can he play? This athlete should be focused on his attitude, energy, and effort. Since his mind is on what others are doing, he’s 10 times more likely to make mistakes during tryouts.

The CEO of a mid level business spends a large amount of his time researching the competitions numbers, growth, and success. He spends so much time doing this it begins to consume him. He stops focusing on the people and opportunities within his organization and only on playing catch up to the competition. Instead of building his team, displaying leadership, and providing resources to help his employees be successful, he’s consumed with worry and fear. This eats him up and tears apart the team.

At some point we’ve all fell into this trap. We get caught up thinking about why others have this and why we don’t have that. The only thing this does is steal our own joy and happiness. Instead of living a full life of gratitude, we live one of sadness, worry, and fear. When we allow jealousy, envy, and comparison into our lives it erodes our relationships. And a life without relationships is an incomplete one. It’s helpful to keep in mind one of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”


Envy is a waste to time and so is comparison. We already have all we need.

We can’t control what others say, do, wear, or how they prepare. We can only focus on our own preparation to becoming the very best which we’re capable of becoming. We must continue to improve towards becoming our best. We have control over that. We have no control over our opponents ability level, only our own. Worrying is a waste of time and energy. Our concern and focus should be on what we can do.

It’s important to remember that nobody becomes great alone. No one lives a happy life alone. Instead of comparing our achievements, possessions, and status to others, we should spend more time celebrating each other. A candle doesn’t lose it’s light by lighting another.

Life is better together. So let’s stop comparing and start celebrating more.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!

Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.