My boyfriend says I'm the better-looking one of the two of us. Uh, yeah, that was purposeful. What girl doesn't want to be the "pretty one" in the relationship? Although he probably 'primps' as much as I do in the bathroom, and works out probably twice as much, he is in an industry where pretty people dominate and it is hard to avoid comparison. And there is no easier comparison than one of your looks--your skin color, your body, how symmetrical you are, which is which is one way your brain identifies attractiveness in a face. For me, my comparisons favor career accolades over attractiveness. Where they have been published, their titles and affiliations, awards, and "lists" of the Top people Killing It that are Younger than You--that latter is my favorite. They delve into their productivity habits, which Tony Robbins book was their favorite, what they eat for breakfast--as if swapping your egg sandwich for a spirulina smoothie is the secret to the job and jawline of your dreams. I am not saying that I do not enjoy these articles because I am genuinely curious about how successful people as ordained by media outlets make decisions differently than most others. I also enjoy them because it keeps me motivated to stay on my path and to continue to evaluate myself on my own terms.
But that's just it. We should not be comparing ourselves to others, we should be comparing ourselves to how we measure up against our own yardsticks. Meryl Streep's stick is different than yours. Why? Because she has a different Why than you and the roles that are right for her are not the roles that are right for you. You can not compare yourself to others because you most likely have different motives, different exposure to opportunities, different forces working for and against you. We should be more like the career marathoner who compares her own time to previous races vs. the sprinters at a 40-yard-dash race. By all mean, learn from others about how they define success for themselves, but find the benchmarks that define what will make you thrive and carve them somewhere you can see and stand beside.