Calvin Strachan | The Impact of Comparisons
Over the span of my career I've held many roles, most of which required me to perform under massive pressure.
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The Impact of Comparisons

Years and years ago I heard an analogy that explained the reason to be cautious about comparing yourself to others.

The analogy looked at positions in the National Football League. In the NFL, there is a position known as the kicker and there is also a position known as the center. The center typically is a huge guy, very round, very big and his whole job is to stop the other team from coming through. He’s a massive man.

On the other hand, the kicker is very lean and thin and his job is to kick the ball through the uprights. Remember, we’re looking at comparisons.

So, imagine you are the center and your role is to be big and to stop that line from coming through. But you turn and look at the kicker and start saying to yourself, “wow, look how small he is and look how skinny he is and how fast he is. Look how big I am.”  You start feeling bad about yourself because he’s so much smaller than you are. In a nutshell, you are comparing.

The problem is being his size and his shape for your role will not work.

Does that make sense?

You are designed the way you are on purpose.

So, imagine you are the kicker playing in the center position, you are going to have a really rough time, right?

Similarly, if you’re the center trying to do the kicker’s role, you’re also going to have a fair amount of challenges.

This is also true for you, because when you start to compare your behavior, your design to someone else’s, it has a definite negative impact on your performance. You start overthinking. You start getting in your head.

What I want you to understand is this: when you start getting in your head, you're dead.

When you start comparing, it crushes and ruins your performance because you’re thinking too much. As a result of thinking too much it takes over what cognitive power you have available to do the job at hand. The important thing to remember is you have everything you need for what you were designed to do.

I had an interview just last week where I talked about the NBA. I talked about Michael Jordan and I talked about Larry Bird.

Larry Bird, everyone knows was tall, 6 foot 10, white guy, couldn’t jump, wasn’t very fast. All the critics said, “He’s not very athletic,” but he was one of the best basketball players of all time. Then you have Michael Jordan who was fast, stealthy, and muscular, could jump, could shoot, could run. He was phenomenal, very different from Larry Bird, but capture this, they are both Hall of Famers.  They both played in the same league at the same time and they both were champions.

Be the best with what you have, not with what they have.  Comparisons can ruin your performance. Your job is to be the best you…you can be.

If you can do that, you can find a way to win.

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