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Todays article comes from Zach Penprase, who is an Extreme Focus Certified Coach. After years of development and decades of real world experience in the world of professional sports, Extreme Focus was founded in 2011 by mental performance coach Dave Austin as an online training center to help people “get their minds to work for them instead of against them.” Subsequently, the Extreme Focus ‘Be A Beast’ program was created by combining the work of both Dave and his partner and co-author, Roger Anthony, a proven system that has now been not only used by professional athletes, but by Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Fortune 100 and 500 companies, and has recently been endorsed by the Pentagon. 


To Compare Or Not To Compare?


How often do you compare yourself to others?

It is human nature to want to compare ourselves to others. To compare our abilities, our accomplishments, our physical strength and appearance, our material belongings, our social status – these are all natural comparisons that the human brain defaults to. Our brains work for survival, but what keeps us happy and successful is not our survival brain, it’s our will to question and retrain our brain to thrive. When comparing ourselves to other people comes from a place of jealously, weakness, or insecurity, the challenge to retrain our brain to thrive becomes much greater. If we can alter our mindset to come from a place of admiration and respect, we can use other peoples’ strengths as motivators for our own success, and it will become much easier to use comparisons to our own advantage.

Avoid getting caught up in someone else’s success   

During my journey through minor league baseball and into independent baseball, all the comparisons were right in front of my face. Looking at Baseball Reference to see who still remained in minor league baseball, how they were playing, what level they were at, and wondering why they got held onto instead of me, could’ve ultimately killed my happiness and desire to continue playing. Rewiring my brain to focus on my own successes is what really made me enjoy my career. My addiction to looking up statistics was my survival brain. Naturally! However, I WANT TO THRIVE! And if I live in a world of comparison, I will only hold myself back from my true greatness and happiness. Coaches will compare us. Scouts will compare us. Even our own teammates will compare us. Adding ourselves to that list is no Bueno.

Focus on what you want

Be yourself and remain laser focused on what you want, rather than what somebody else wants or has. When you are focused on your own gifts and on what you want, you will be much more productive in anything you do. Also, the thing I love about being so focused, is that you are so caught up in the actual battle that you begin to enjoy the journey. Time flies and 2 hours will feel like 15 minutes. We begin to do everything with a purpose. Continuing to thrive in everything we do and every aspect involved in what we are doing.

Be grateful for each opportunity

One thing that helps us stay in a positive mindset is gratitude. Being grateful for our opportunities, where we are at on our journey, and loving our successes and accomplishments, is the ultimate mindset of happiness. We want to be the best beings we can be, not the best that they can be. Our success, our gifts, our accomplishments, and our happiness is our goal. Admiring somebody else and using their success as healthy motivation can keep us on the right track. Seeing somebody else succeed and being happy for them is wonderful. Seeing them accomplish something and letting them inspire you to do something great can be amazing! Without the right mindset, we can easily kill something unique by simply comparing it to something else. Be grateful for your gifts and talents.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken

The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, just remember what Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Take the time to write down 10 things you are grateful for the next time you are making yourself miserable with comparison. You’ll be amazed at the shift your mind will take by doing that simple exercise. Focus on yourself and where you are at, what you are doing, and why you are doing it. LOVE every minute of the moment and embrace it! If you are going to compare, compare to your old self. You are always creating a new self. Every minute that passes is a new you! Be stronger, be smarter, be happier.

Zach Penprase
Extreme Focus Certified Coach

Zach was a standout shortstop for the Mississippi Valley State University delta devils. In 2006 he led Division I baseball in stolen bases and was a finalist for the ‘Boo Ferris’ award for the top college player in the state of Mississippi. In 2006, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 13th round. He later became a member of the Boston Red Sox & Los Angeles Dodgers organizations before playing 8 years for the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks in North Dakota. He is the Redhawks all time leader in games played (635); at bats (2,449); runs scored (512); hits (694); walks (329) and stolen bases (248).