Never Compare


Are you guilty like I am?  Are you guilty of comparing yourself to others?  I’m a little embarrassed to admit this but here’s my story…

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I was up in the mountains enjoying a girl’s getaway with a couple of friends.

They are amazing, beautiful women; one is an Engineer and the other is an Accountant. They’re both incredibly smart and work for these large, very impressive organizations.  And as we were catching up – maybe it was the inspiring mountain scenery or maybe it was the martinis – but I found myself in awe of my friends.

I started to stress, “What about me?”

In my mind I was quietly comparing myself to them and – simultaneously –  feeling not so awesome about myself.  You see, my one friend’s in line for an exciting promotion because she’s brilliant and the other is celebrating 14 years with the most sought after employer in the city.

… And who am I?  I’m just this entrepreneur, this Career Coach, that’s building her business & trying to make a difference in women’s lives.  I started to drive myself crazy because the more I compared myself to my friends, the more bummed out I felt.  Of course, my friends saw this and asked, “What’s up with you?”

So I told them.

And they said, “Are you crazy?  We’re in awe of you!  Here we are hiding behind these big organizations, dealing with all the politics, people telling us what do all the time – and there you are out in life laying your own track, having a whale of a time AND you get to choose who your clients are.”

Right about then, I began to realize that we’re all nuts!

Aren’t we?

We constantly compare ourselves & our careers with everyone else, and all it does it make us feel bad about ourselves and diminishes our joy.

My favourite cartoonist, Hugh MacLeod, has a genius piece on just this issue.  He says something like this: You can never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.  Because you’ll never truly know the private struggles, the personal obstacles they’re facing. No matter how pretty & put together they may look on the outside, you just never know, maybe they’re secretly comparing themselves to you.

So that’s the career lesson here, ladies.  Never compare!  Do what’s right for YOU.  If you love your work: embrace it.  It you don’t: change it.

Cheers to that,


Heather Petherick is a master success coach for high potential business leaders, having established her private coaching practice in 2007. Since then, she’s coached hundreds of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs from around the globe to overcome the mindset traps that keep them playing small so that they can realize their potential and create the impact they’re meant for. Her areas of speciality are: • Mindset • Confidence • Communication • Speed of Implementation Her clients include corporate rising stars at WestJet, Agrium, Suncor Energy, Manulife Bank, TD, Royal Bank of Canada, KMPG and PepsiCo International as well as big-thinking entrepreneurs from around the world. She has been featured as a career and success expert with Women Engineering The Future, The Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Living Magazine and Chatelaine magazine. Heather’s journey from growing up on a humble sheep farm on the prairies of western Canada to building a global coaching business have lent to her signature coaching style that combines both wit and humility, style and business savvy. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband and two children.

2 Responses to “Never Compare

  • Marlene Cyr
    4 years ago

    This is so true of me. I often envy other people’s lives, but then I sit back and think, “They don’t have 39 years of Government service like I do.”

    • Exactly Marlene! Every job has both challenges and rewards… and a 39yr career with the government certainly does provide some security! Congrats & thanks for your comment.