I live about a 15 minute walk from the headquarters of Mozilla, Twitter, Salesforce, Yelp, and Charles Schwab, among many others. The main campuses of Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Facebook are less than an hour drive away. There is money everywhere. There are more BMW’s around than Honda’s, and making six figures won’t impress anyone around here, and won’t even guarantee that you don’t with roommates. You may have already guessed that I am talking about San Francisco.
I am doing ok for myself, but I am not part of the tech world. I don’t have equity or stock options in any of the promising start-ups or thriving tech corporations. Every time I go to some party or a networking event, I run into someone who cashed out on something, retired at the age of 30, bought five houses and is now looking where to invest his millions and where else to travel after having gone to 50 different places.
Hearing about it on TV is one thing, but being in the same room at a bar or at a house part with them is another. You can’t help but compare yourself and ask why you aren’t that guy. Comparing yourself to others, however, is a horrible idea, and you must stay away from it as far as possible for at least four major reasons:
1. It undermines your confidence on the deepest level
When you start thinking that you are less than the guy who is standing next to you, it will necessarily make you less confident in just about every way, including in your interactions with women. You can’t have that attractive relaxed presence known as swagger when you feel like you are not as good as that other guy. You will feel threatened by other guys in the room or jealous. Your body language will announce to everyone that you are not comfortable and you don’t feel like you belong or like you are good enough for the occasion and that is extremely unattractive to women, because they recognize that behavior as a major and sign of insecurity. A lot has and will be said about not putting any girl on a pedestal. But it’s equally important to not put other guys on a pedestal as well.
2. It’s not fair to yourself
You could say that in this life it’s the bottom line that counts and excuses such as being an immigrant or coming from a disadvantaged background are just that—excuses. Still, you have to recognize that we all have a different path in life, different skills and different interests. If you are not interested in hedge funds or software development, you can’t compare yourself to those who made it big in tech because they have been interested in tech since high school. This is the time to focus on what you want and what you are interested in doing, and becoming good and successful at that.
3. It makes you waste money
Familiar with the term “Keeping up with the Jones-es?” I bet you are. When you buy something to wear, drive, or live in not because you want it or you need it, but because you are trying to keep up with the neighbor or a friend or a co-worker, you already lost. You allow the wrong factors to influence your purchasing decisions, and your personal finances. This is yet another reason to stop comparing your house, car and wardrobe to those of others.
4. It is bound to make you feel like shit
There is always someone taller, richer, better looking and even more interesting than you are out there. There is always someone who has a better job, who is a better tennis player and who gets laid more with hotter women. The moment you start ranking yourself against that person, you lose. You need to stop doing that.
Striving to become a better person and having a great role model in life who you can look up to and learn from is one of the most effective ways of improving yourself, but it has to come from admiration; not from competition. Overcoming any kind of envy takes strength and independence of character, but it is well worth trying. When it comes to game, becoming a stronger, smarter and a more interesting guy, while enjoying that journey, is a key to developing real confidence with women.
Once you stop comparing yourself to others, you will be able to admire other people’s accomplishments and possessions in a pure way. You will be truly happy for them without filling bitter about not having what they do.
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