We should all be growing and improving every single day to be the best versions of ourselves. But sometimes we get caught up comparing ourselves to other people and their success instead of worrying about ourselves.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Ronni.
Ronni: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: So, our listeners by now probably know that I’m a big Jordan Peterson fan. He’s this psychologist, and I would even, he’s a psychologist, but a lecturer. He was a professor and he just has really good common sense advice for people, like clean your room and stand up straight with your shoulders back. These sound like very simple principles that we all probably know, but there are a lot of things that people need to hear that we forget. We have a lot of, they call it Peter Pan syndrome. We have a lot of older or young adults rather, that just aren’t really ready to grow up. They haven’t heard these basic things. So, Peterson has this wonderful book that I love called 12 Rules for Life. And what’s really exciting is Tuttle Twins did their own take on this, their own kind of version of this, and that has come out recently. So, please check that out. And there’s a lot of really good rules in there that are the same rules, but they’re just put in different ways to make it more for a kid audience instead of an adult audience. But I have been so excited for this. When Connor first told me that they were doing this, I was over the moon. I think there’s so many important lessons. So I’m going to take one of those lessons and we’re going to talk about it today. So the Jordan Peterson rule is called Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday, not To who someone else is today. And I think in the Tuttle Twins book, and I could be wrong, hope Connor doesn’t get mad at me if I’m wrong. I think it’s just don’t compare yourself to others or something simpler like that. So, what does, don’t compare yourself to others mean? So first, Ronni, I was not an athlete. Did you do any sports ever?
Ronni: I did, but only because I was pretty much forced to, I went to a very small school and I wanted to play basketball because it was where it was the biggest thing going on at school. So, I played more for social reasons. I was not good. I was horrible, but I played because it was fun. But I sat on the bench. I only went in the game if we were up by a billion points and they let me play because they figured I couldn’t hurt anything.
Brittany: Maybe, was I wrong? Did you tell me that you were competitive?
Ronni: Competitive is a different thing. Yes, I’m competitive in things that I know I have a good chance of when basically, I don’t want to try unless I know I actually have a chance. So I think I always knew that I was clumsy and not really the best physically for basketball, so I was just happy to do my part. I knew I could never be that good. So I was not super competitive, but things I know.
Brittany: It’s something you are competitive about. That probably would’ve been a better question for me to ask, but what’s something you are competitive about? What’s something you’re really excited to compete against?
Ronni: Oh gosh. I don’t know. Probably some games.
Brittany: Okay, so that’s kind of the same but different. So let me put it this way too. Has there ever been a time you were really competitive and you were competing against someone else and you found yourself comparing your performance or whatever it is to theirs? It doesn’t even have to be in competition, even just in life where someone’s success or somebody who got a higher test score than you in school, something like that.
Ronni: I think definitely in life, especially as an adult, when you start caring about your professional success and when you see other people that you started off at the same time pursuing the same kind of career success, and then the other person ends up succeeding and you’re still way back there and for whatever reason you didn’t get the right opportunities, it can feel a little bit of a bummer sometimes.
Brittany: And I think when you do that, and maybe you feel differently, but I think when we start comparing ourselves to other people, it stunts our growth because while you were worrying about what the other person was doing, you could have been channeling that energy into trying to do better on your own part. So that’s kind of what this rule means, compare yourself to who you were yesterday and not to someone else is today. And I love that. That has always helped me in my life because I’m a very competitive person and I do a lot of performing arts.
Ronni: Did you play sports?
Brittany: No, goodness, no. Okay. No, no, no. I am also not coordinated and very clumsy. I run into walls all the time. I don’t even know how it’s possible, but I was a musician. I’ve always been into acting and I do standup comedy now. So I am a performer and I am very competitive. And one thing that I spent too much of my life doing is comparing myself to everybody else. So instead of enjoying another artist or another musician singing, I would be sitting there going, well, how does my singing compare to this person? Am I as good as that person? Am I as good as that person with the piano? Am I as good of a comic as that other person who’s up there telling jokes right now? And I would almost, it almost seemed like obsessed over what somebody else was doing, right? Instead of comparing myself to like Jordan Peterson says who I was yesterday. And what that means is every day you should be waking up. This is kind of one of my standard rules, and you should be a little bit better at something than you were yesterday. 1% even. Let’s say that I, well, I go to the gym every day, so this is a good example. There are some days I really don’t want to go to the gym, but I think about my workout the day before. And I think, okay, if I want to get faster at running, if I want to be at a better running or better runner, I have to go again today and try to just be 1% better. That’s not very much 1% better than I was the day before, but that 1% adds up and adds up and adds up, and I need to worry about myself and my progress. I can’t be comparing myself to another person who goes to the gym and runs on the treadmill next to me. Cause they have different goals. They started at different places. We’re not the same person. And so I think it is really, really important to remember that we’ve had to stop comparing ourselves to other people because when we do that, we set ourselves up for failure. And I think it can make us really sad in our goals because if I’m running and the guy next to me or the girl next to me is running faster than me, and then I get really sad, I don’t know that person’s story. What if that person started running 10 years before me? Of course, they’re going to be in a different spot than me. They have different things, different things they’re planning for. So it’s really important to not do that. And in other things, just like where you are in life, you mentioned career, I think that’s something, like you said, in adulthood, that gets really hard because you see somebody succeeding and you’re thinking, well, why am I not succeeding? Why am I not as good as that person? But I think if you looked really hard at where you were a year ago or a year before or the year before, you’d say, oh, actually I’m getting a lot better. I’ve gotten better at this. And maybe it’s not as fast as that person, but again, you don’t know where that person started, so maybe I think you guys aren’t working yet, but the listeners, I mean, but you are taking classes in school or at home. If you’re homeschooled and you’re maybe trying to read a lot of books or do a hard math problem, there are things like that where you could be comparing yourself to what somebody else is doing or sports. Again, Ronni and I clearly have no knowledge of this. Neither of us is athletic.
Ronni: Well, I was just thinking for any listeners who maybe have been listening for the past few episodes, especially when I first came on to this podcast, I was very nervous and very anxious, and it was very difficult for me to do these. And that is something where over time, I feel so much more confident. But when we first started talking, I knew that I couldn’t compare myself to you, but you’ve been speaking publicly for so much longer than I have, and you’re so much more comfortable than I am. So I can’t compare myself to you and the journey I have to just on my own each episode just feel better and more confident in what I’m doing right.
Brittany: I really love that you shared that. I think that is such a perfect example because, and I remember how nervous you were, and already you’ve gotten so much more comfortable and you just have to imagine how much more comfortable you’ll be in four more episodes. There’s so much growth to be had, and I think it really slows our growth when we compare ourselves to other people. And it can make us really sad because then we think, oh, well, I’m never going to be as good as them anyway, so I’m just not going to try. And that’s something that I think has gotten me to not do things a lot of things because I just think, well, why should I bother? But I think another part of it too is it makes you consumed with someone else’s success when that doesn’t really concern you should be not consumed, but you should be concerned about what you are trying to do to get to where you’re going. There’s this great book that Emma and I talked about a while ago called Atomic Habits, and that’s for adults. It’d be a little hard for kids to understand, but I highly recommend parents read it and maybe teach the lessons to their kids. But it talks about, I was saying that 1% thing, just try to be 1% better at something today than you were yesterday. And every day when you wake up, maybe take inventory is kind of what they say. They sit down and think, okay, what was I doing yesterday? What can I do today to set the goal to be a little bit better? And just try your hardest not to be putting yourself in a situation where you’re constantly measuring up or trying to measure up to somebody else because nobody else is you. That’s the great part about individualism, right? Everybody is their own person. So there’s no reason to compare yourself to anybody else because it’s such a silly thing. You are not everybody else, you are you. So I think we need to really try to do that. I actually have, Ronni, the first thing I see when I wake up, I have a little sign, decorative sign that says that, that says, compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to someone else’s today.
Ronni: And I definitely am a huge Jordan Peterson fan.
Brittany: I am a huge Jordan. I also have a painting of him, but I understand that’s a little weird because my friend painted this beautiful portrait of him. That’s so cool that I put it next to my bookshelf. But yeah, so I look at that every morning and it reminds me that I need to worry about me, that I need to pay attention to my goals and not be comparing myself to other people because that just gets you in a really weird state of mind. So yeah. So I hope, Ronni, that you learned something from this. I know you’re not, few people are as big of Jordan Peterson’s fans as I am, so that’s great.
Ronni: I know. But I’ve heard so much about him, and I’m really excited about the Title Twins book being based on him. I really should go and read his stuff. So, thank you for the inspiration too.
Brittany: Oh good. I’m so happy and everybody picked up the book for your kids, the Tuttle Twins version. I think it’s just so cool. I love that Connor did this, and as always like and subscribe to our podcast, share with Friends. And until next time, we will talk to you soon.
Ronni: All right, see you soon.