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Stop Comparing Yourself!!!

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It was the first day of orientation to rotate through the emergency room. I was really excited, because at that point, the plan was to do a residency at that hospital, then work in the emergency department. So, needless to say it was an important rotation for me.

I was doing well in school and had a chip on my shoulder (just a little one). Two things immediately put me right back in my place:

1. Getting pimped during orientation.
2. Getting handed an exam to assess our knowledge on emergency room complaints.

After the quick introduction by those in charge, the students (medical and pa students) were split and were to follow a resident for a couple hours to get a hang on how things worked. Myself and 2 other students were put with the chief resident.

We followed him as he checked up on his patients. Immediately he began firing questions at us. Just as fast as he was asking, he was answering. My brain couldn’t keep up with his. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great guy and wasn’t the least bit condescending. But, the way he was able to articulate his thoughts and the speed at which he did so was impressive!

After a couple hours, we were given the exam. I was (well maybe still am) a nerd. I love to read. I love to learn. I even loved taking exams (please don’t judge me here lol).  But, when this test was placed in front me – I felt lost. Most of my training up to that point had been primary care. Needless to say I didn’t do so hot; but it showed me just how much I still had to learn.

After these two events, I spent the remainder of the day doubting my abilities. I went home trying to figure out how these residents were so good at what they did. How were they able to come up with answers so quickly???

I immediately began to compare my inabilities to their strengths. Then, the thought we all have at one point or another surfaced: maybe I’m not cut out for this…

Obviously, I didn’t give up, or else you wouldn’t be reading this – but it did have me doubting my competency.

The thing is, we all do this. We all compare our abilities with those who are better or who have more experience. Those that continue down this path will inevitably set self limiting beliefs. The beliefs over time begin to turn into reality. If we don’t break the cycle here – then we have officially self sabotaged our life.

This becomes the person who failed out of school, who wasn’t matched, or who didn’t pass their boards.

They let their mind get the best of them.  Never compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 20.

To make matters worse, our program threw us into rotations after the second quarter of school – so I had about 6 months of training before entering the emergency room.

Can you see how ridiculous (even arrogant) it was of me to think I should be at the same level of competency as the chief resident?

Six months of training (me) vs 7 years of training (chief resident).

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I mean, no shit his brain was running circles around mine. But, it’s hard to see that when you’re in the heat of the moment.

The lesson I want to leave you with today is to stop comparing – because this will create a false sense of self worth, which ultimately leads to self limiting beliefs that you are going to will into existence.

The only person you should be comparing yourself to – is YOU. Strive to be better than your were yesterday. Learn something new every day. Challenge yourself, and before you know it, someone will be looking up to you wondering how in the world you know so much.

Andrew