In our competitive world, where achievement is prized as that which gives the ‘edge’ or advantage over another person – our opponent, comparisons are necessary.  We play along in this game by constantly comparing ourselves with other people.  We invariably don’t quite make the grade, because we will always find people who are ‘better’ than we are.

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Comparing ourselves with others is therefore one of the surest ways to conclude that we are wanting, thereby reinforcing our poor sense of worth.  No matter how good we are at something in particular, there will always be someone, somewhere who is ‘better’ than us, and no matter how awful we consider ourselves to be in any area, there will always be someone who is ‘worse’ than us.  It therefore makes no sense to compare ourselves to anyone else.  What we should be doing is recognising our unique individuality and that we are the particular way we are for a very good reason (and incidentally, that which we are is as good as we can be at the present time – we are Good Enough).


This is not to say that we should be complacent, or that we should give ourselves an excuse to be lazy.  We can always consider the way we used to be, and this will show us the extent to which we have grown and changed.  If we find ourselves unable to resist the temptation to compare, we could attempt to confine ourselves to PBs or Personal Bests by looking at our achievements in the light of the way we used to be.

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

Negative Thinking

Regarding negative thinking, there is a growing acceptance of the idea that thoughts exert a powerful influence on us and on our lives.  Andrew Matthews (1988 p 57) explains how this works: 

“…your mind works on pictures.  When you say to yourself, ‘I don’t want to forget my book’ you get a picture in your mind of forgetting.  Although you say ‘I don’t want that’, your mind still works on the picture and the result … you forget your book.  When you tell yourself ‘I want to remember my book’ you will have a mental picture of yourself remembering, and you will be in a far better position to remember.  Your mind simply does not, cannot and will not work on the reverse of an idea.”

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 The implications of this are enormous!  Not only is it wise to think in positive terms about daily things we want to do or to experience in our lives, it also illustrates the self-fulfilling nature of our negative thoughts about ourselves.  Because the mind takes things literally, we tend to set up life experiences which are in accord with the way we think – we surround ourselves with people who treat us in the way our mind tells us we should be treated, and this further reinforces and strengthens our pattern of belief.  The belief becomes habitual, until ‘that’ (whatever the original negative thought told us) is the unchangeable ‘way we are’.  The solution to this is deceptively simple.

First we need to become aware of our thoughts, then we can begin to change them, knowing of course that it is well within our power to change a thought.  First there must be the awareness of the thought, then the awareness of the element of choice, then the choice to change. Thinking positive thoughts about ourselves leads to a positive belief system about life and ourselves in general, and can be the most empowering gift we give ourselves.

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Techniques such as meditation and visualisation are valuable aids in the process of ‘changing the mind’, and will be discussed in greater detail in further posts.

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!