Stop Comparing Yourself With Others

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Stop Comparing Yourself With Others

Over a year ago I was feeling a bit insecure about my writing.

It started when another blogger, Trevor, publicly posted some stats on his website’s visitors. Although he had less visitors than I did at the time, the people who were on his site were exploring more of his pages than mine were. The amount of time spent on each page and several other analytical metrics (that I won’t get into the technical details of) were higher than mine as well. You can actually see I was the first one to post in his comment section.

My insecurity prompted me to send out an email to my list asking them for their brutal, honest feedback with the subject line “Self Stairway Needs Your Help”.

And the responses and feedback blew my mind.

Sure enough, people gave me their honest opinions and nearly 50% of everyone who received the email opened it. Granted, my email list was much smaller a year ago, but it was still amazing to see the number of people who took time to write to me.

I had one person point out that Trevor was actually comparing himself with me in the very post that I was jealous of! He wrote in his article, “I see the incredible progress made by guys like Vincent… and I wonder, ‘Shit, maybe I’m doing something wrong’”.

Another replied telling me that he loves my posts and that he “spends too much time reading at work”.

One fellow Arizonian told me I was one of the nicest guys he knew and that my soul comes through in my writing and in the comment section.

A reader from Italy compiled an entire PDF file with critiques to my writing.

Ivan, a previous guest post contributor, gave me a list of actionable steps I can take to improve my website and even provided examples of how I could improve my articles’ headlines.

The list went on. So many people encouraged me, helped me become a stronger writer, and dished out constructive criticism. That was the quality of my audience just a mere four months after starting my site and it overwhelmed me.

So I put in more work into my articles and put myself into overgear. I wrote more guest posts and got featured in larger websites.

It could’ve been really bad. I could’ve stopped writing. I could’ve lied to myself by saying I didn’t care.

Sometimes we spend too much time comparing ourselves with others that we miss the bigger picture.

People can boast better results in certain areas and some probably do overshadow you, but who cares? Why would you let that have a negative impact on what you’re doing? Why would you slow down when, if anything, you should be putting in more work so you can beat out the rest?

Comparing yourself with others without taking action to further yourself is one of the most unproductive things you can do.

Not only are you wasting valuable time, you’re taking opportunities away from yourself. Second guessing yourself because “You’ll never be as good as X, Y, and Z” is just an excuse.

Use your jealousy as fuel. Make beating out those who are on top now your goal.

If you’re going to compare yourself with them, you may as well do it in a way that encourages progress and self-growth.

I still catch myself comparing myself with others all the time. Instead of bringing myself down and feeling sorry, I use it as motivation.

Stop comparing yourself with others.

I want to hear your stories. When was the last time you looked at someone else with jealousy and what did you do as a result? Did you take it as a challenge to put in more effort?

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway. After landing his dream job with Empire Flippers, he dropped out of college and began living a location independent lifestyle (still always drawn to coffee shops though.) Don't worry, he still publishes every Monday and hasn't missed a single week since starting this site in January 2013.

Latest posts by Vincent Nguyen (see all)

19 responses to Stop Comparing Yourself With Others

  1. Amazing article Vincent! I can relate to it a lot, I would say that I used to compare myself to people at least once a day, and I know for a fact that it wasn’t helping me to grow as an individual at all.

    A quote that really helped me was: “You will never be the best copycat in the world but you can be the best you”. That helped me quite a bit, as I know when I used to compare myself to others, I would feel like what I was doing was inadequate. I’d feel like I should just do what their doing as they must know more than I do.

    Looking back now, I see how silly that habit is. It’s not a good thing to copy someone else, sure we should learn from them, but it’s so much better to just be ourselves.

    Thanks again for the article buddy!

    – Joe

    • I think I still compare myself with others more than once a day.

      Comparing in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s what you do as a result of making that comparison matters.

      If you feel like you’re further behind and you let it demotivate you then you’re doing it wrong. However, using it as fuel and telling yourself one day you’ll get to their level or even exceed it then you’re doing it right.

  2. He hasn’t had a post since January? Has he stopped blogging?

    While you are still blogging then you are still moving forward and succeeding.

    You were right in your comment about that bounce rate being insane, but he said it jumped up to 70% once he changed his theme. I try not to worry about such statistics.

    It is as you said, you need to stop comparing yourself with others because it won’t help you. Your journey is yours and they have their own. All it will do is stress you out.

    On the flip side, I am insanely curious about everyone else’s traffic haha. Comparison is a natural human trait that we need to fight.

  3. I can really appreciate where you are coming from Vincent. You appear to have all of the gifts and talents that are driving your website and writing to success. You have an amazing knack for moving ahead and challenging yourself.

    I’m still trying to go one more step forward than I do steps backward. Everyone else seems to get it. All I get is a headache.

    I just want to grow my work and yet everyday life seems to interfere. It’s always about discipline, isn’t it? That and knowing what works and what doesn’t.

    Thanks for letting us see that the grass is not so much greener in the neighbor’s pasture.

    • Thanks, Nick!

      We all struggle with that. What you may see as me moving forward I feel like I’m stagnant or even stumbling backwards. It’s easy to get caught in our heads and we don’t even realize that what others see is a daring opposite from the image in our minds.

      Keep going. You’ll do well.

  4. What do I do? I study what these people I admire do to get to their level and beyond. I always compare with others, but I do it in a positive way the encourages growth.

  5. The metric that’s hard to quantify is VALUE. Yes, you can analyze time spent per page, where they come from, etc. What’s harder to measure is how people respond to your message. Are they actually more self confident? Does it have a last effect or is it gone with the wind? Never easy to know for sure, but the fact that you’ve stuck around as long as you have says you’re impacting people, at least by your example. Great post, Vincent!

  6. This is why I love reading and talking to you. You do what you write about and you’re always looking to be better.

    I am proud of your success; you’ve earned every single subscriber, page view, and opportunity that has come your way.

    • Thanks, Davis!

      You yourself have been wildly successful this past year. I think you and I need a catchup call soon. Can’t wait to hear what’s going on with you and your projects. :)

  7. So true!!!

  8. Hey Vincent. Great post — as usual. You write well, you always have (for as long as I’ve read your blog).

    I want to ask you: Did you know a lot about blogging/internet marketing/PR/copywriting/web design/etc., before you started your site?

    I want to ask you another thing: How are things going in the Phillipines?

    I want to ask you a third thing: What are you plans for Self Stairway for the foreseeable future? Anything in particular?

    • Thanks man!

      To answer your questions:

      1) Nope. I knew nothing and basically started with a clean slate. I knew things like SEO existed, but that’s all. Their existence and knowing they were somehow important to the big picture was all I had to work with. I didn’t know what it was or how to do it, just that it was important. Learning it all was fun and rewarding.

      2) LOVE it. It’s been almost EIGHT months now. Time flies when you’re having fun.

      3) Nothing really. The only thing I can promise is a new article every Monday. I don’t have any plans to continue marketing the blog beyond just publishing weekly. The lack of push shows in my decline in Google traffic, but I’m okay with that. My #1 (growth) priority is Empire Flippers.

      • Ok!

        Nice to hear that you’re loving it in the Philippines. Are you staying indefinitely?

        “I don’t have any plans to continue marketing the blog beyond just publishing weekly. ”
        –I see. It does take a lot of time and preparation.

        “My #1 (growth) priority is Empire Flippers.”

        — Ok. Cool that you know your priorities.

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