No Comparison…


Many years ago, a mentor told me that anytime we compare ourselves to others… we lose.

The way the principle was described to me, and the way I have described it to countless others, is like this…

If I compare myself with you… all I know about you is what you have shown me.

In other words, more than likely… all I know is your BEST characteristics. On the other hand, I know all of my own WORST traits, ’cause, well… I’ve lived them!

So, I take all of your BEST qualities, and I compare them against all of my own WORST… and, voila… I have, in effect, widened the gap to the furthest possible extent!

Not wise.


This is on my mind tonight because I’ve had several discussions over the past week or two with some folks on the the subject of authenticity.

Now, I know that word is getting a lot of play in terms of transparency in marketing… but we were looking at a different context.

You see, this conversation revolved around the concept as it relates to being real… and being real approachable to those whom we might influence in the realm of coaching or mentoring.

It all started when a young man called me for advice on a business matter. He had made some promises… had lost a significant five figure sum… and now stood to lose even more, if… he kept his word.

He wanted to know what to do.

Well, it’s really pretty simple, I said… you just need to figure out if your word is any good, or not.

Silence… followed by six or seven additional seconds of absolutely no talking whatsoever!


“Yeah,” he said, “I knew that’s what you were going to say… but man, you don’t know how it feels to lose that kind of money.”

Oh, my…


I asked if he had a few extra minutes… and then described a period of great financial loss… in fact, many times the size we had just discussed seconds earlier. The stress… the depression… and the sleepless nights.

He was stunned… and he was thankful. Through sharing my story, he received the gift of hope.

Would I walk this road with him, he asked. And the answer, of course, was yes… after all, it may be part of the reason I had to learn the lesson in the first place.


It means allowing others in… letting them see us when we’re not at our best. It is showing our humanness… and yes, sometimes our brokenness. Authenticity is the source of the strength that comes from shared experience, from overcoming in similar situations.

It is knowing… because, well… you just know.

One of my favorite old scriptures refers to the fact that we all kinda suffer from the same stuff (my translation).

The question is whether we will allow others to see those hurts… those challenges… the illness or pain or failure. Do we find it necessary to present a perfect face… or will we let others see us fall? And if they see us fall, will they also witness as we get back up again and again and again?

Oh yeah, and one more.

Are we then willing to take our experiences… both positive and negative… and walk along side someone else? To provide encouragement and hope that is based on having been through that fire a time or two before?

The answers to these questions… will determine the degree to which we have any influence at all.



What is the greatest personal or professional challenge that you have overcome in the past 60 months? Are you willing to walk through that minefield again… this time to help another individual or family safely to the other side? How and where will you find them?

They’re waiting…


I look forward to speaking with you soon.


Photo Credit:

The Only Anla

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