Your Measure Of Success In Found Within You, Nowhere Else

We build a better life when we stop comparing ourselves to others.

James E. McGinley, PhD
3 min readJul 23, 2022

--

Blurry picture of crowd in city.
Photo by Mike Chai on Pexels

Social media is an incredible tool. It connects us and brings us together. But it also encourages us to make false and dangerous comparisons. Social media has a desirability bias. Everyone shows the story they want us to see. But what we do not see are the struggles and hard work concealed behind success. We also do not see the lies and hypocrisies.

A better life, and a better you, is built when you measure success by your own standard.

Part of the illusion of our environment today is the fantasy that success comes fast and easy. We are bombarded by messages that trick us into believing it. Having been built up to believe it, it is no wonder that we fall harder when we look around at our own humble realities.

We are taught to chase a future we will never achieve.

We are taught that what we want to have is desirable but distant and that what we have now is undesirable but too close.

This causes a few problems for us. It teaches us to value false comparisons. Comparing ourselves to others easily leads to trouble. It leads us to value things that are transient, constantly changing, and anchored on the values and behaviors of others. Media, social and otherwise, is constantly changing the rules. What is desirable today, will be replaced by something else that we are told is desirable tomorrow.

It is a bait and switch tactic. We are enticed to follow others to be like them and then the rules are inevitably changed before we can achieve it. We are left in a repetitive cycle of chasing new goals that change so often that we are guaranteed to never achieve them.

It also causes us to devalue ourselves. Comparisons to exaggerated success is a battle we can never win. Someone will always be more successful, attractive, and wealthy than we are. We are taught that others are better, and by comparison that we are inferior. There has to be a better way.

There is a way out.

The answer to this mindless dilemma is simple. We need to shift and redefine how we…

--

--

James E. McGinley, PhD

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.