Young Lawyers Should Avoid Personal Comparisons

My friend Jezra Kaye is a consultant and author about all things to improve communications and public speaking. In her recent newsletter, she worte about the dangers of “comparison-itis”. Comparing ourselves to others has become an epidemic. Here’s how Jezra explains it:

How many times today have you compared yourself to somebody else?

Depending on what time of day you’re reading this, the answer might be once, or twice…or way more.

After all, there’s no limit to how often we can put ourselves down by finding people who do something “better” than we do. There’s:

  • The colleague who speaks more fluently than you;
  • The sibling who has more money than you;
  • The friend who’s always been cooler than you;
  • The classmate who’s more “successful” than you.

Then there’s the really tough one: The person you should have been if you’d just been able to meet the “perfectly reasonable” standards of your parents, your school, your social class, even yourself.

Do you recognize yourself in Jezra’s words? You know you do. We all indulge in personal comparisons more than we should. And it is not healthy, and we all should stop it.

Put away Facebook, Instagram and all other social media toys that lead you to the bad place of PERSONAL COMPARISONS. That black hole. The not-gift that keeps on giving.

In my experience, unhealthy personal comparison is especially true for young lawyers. A young associate may be making great money that provides him/her with all that person needs, but SOMEONE is always making more. That same associate lawyer may be on the road to partnership, but SOMEONE just made it a year early. Or that young lawyer may have won a tough case, but the recovery was less than SOMEONE else got. And the list goes on and on, seemingly forever.

Shake off that burden. No one needs pressure like that. Just be your own wonderful self. Have confidence and love the way you look and all that you have accomplished. Know your own unique value and be proud of all that you have done in the past and can look forward to in the future.

It will save you a lot of wasted time. And, last time I checked, an abundance of time to waste is something that most young lawyers do not have.

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