Identity Theft: The Cost of Comparing Yourself to Others
December 21, 2011
You’ve probably seen or heard ads from LifeLock and other companies that guarantee to protect you from identity theft. It’s unfortunate that we have to consider options like this but the fact is there are people who, given the opportunity, will steal items related to your financial identity. Perhaps the most un-nerving part of identity thief is that it happens without our knowledge. There are no obvious signs or physical threats. It is not until we receive a credit application denial or are confronted with a legal matter that we become aware that we’ve been victimized. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were over 200,000 complaints of identity theft in 2009. While that number is alarming, it is only the tip of the iceberg.
The real culprit of identity theft lies deep within ourselves…it’s called comparison. Much like those individuals who engage in covert activities of stealing bits and pieces of your financial information, we rob ourselves from developing our unique talents and strengths by constantly comparing ourselves to others. Yes, there is some benefit in seeking the advice of someone who is successful in a task you’re trying accomplish. They’re called role models or mentors and they may have a certain style, skills or technique that you'd like to emulate. This is the only positive way to focus on someone else. The problem occurs when you begin to compare yourself with others and measure your success or failure only by the success of others. That’s because comparison usually involves a negative appraisal of you in relation to others which is not a good formula for building self-confidence! Instead, keep your focus on YOU. Measure yourself against yourself. Identify your own dreams, goals and expectations. Comparison is hazardous to your self-confidence, health and identity.