We engage in a lot of self-judgment. We judge how we do compared to someone else all the time. It's human nature. We judge all kinds of things in our minds. Which becomes an unfair measuring stick for ourselves. Self-judgement takes away from the progress we make on anything we have done.
The Rose Bush Analogy
Judging ourselves and comparing ourselves to others is not a good habit to get into. There is a good analogy of how to eliminate comparing ourselves to others. The Rose Bush analogy.
Do we ever judge a rose bush seed for not being a rose bush yet? No, because we understand it needs to grow and that can take time.
It does not matter what stage the rose bush is at, it could be small sprouting bush, it could be a small bush or a large mature bush with flowers all over it. But we never criticize it for being what it is at that point in time.
Whatever its stage it's exactly what it needs to be. It's the same thing for us we don't need to judge what we are compared to someone else. We need to judge ourselves based on where we are because in many cases we are exactly where we need to be.
Growth is imperceptibly Small
Growth is not measured day to day. It's measured over time. Think about your own physical growth. Do you remember when you were only 2 years old? Most kids at that age are close to 3' tall I would guess in between 2 and 21 you grow somewhere between 2'-3' feet and you probably never noticed the daily growth.
The only reason you notice the growth is that we look back in time and measured. But as someone is growing we don't really notice. We grow because it just happens.
The same is true with our habits and our intellectual growth. They are a matter of small repetitions we do on a daily basis that compound overtime which results eventually in the growth we are aiming for or the person we want to become
Slow and Steady
There was a young man back in the 1950's who worked at Disneyland. At the time he was 10 years old and his first job was selling guidebooks to people in the park.
Eventually, after watching some of the entertainers at the park he learned some tricks and jokes and he started to try them on small crowds in the park. What he found was he really enjoyed performing and wanted to make that his lives work.
It started slowly at first with his little job at Disneyland, then as he got a little older and went into high school he performed for a little larger crowds at talent shows and eventually at some clubs in LA but it was still hard, in some cases, the audiences were small and not very welcoming.
But his act started to develop and he got a little better. His show which started out as a 5-minute bit turned into a 20 - minute routine and he was making progress.
Eventually, he took a job as a writer and started to gain some notoriety for his comedy which led to him working on Saturday Night Live.
After fifteen years of hard work, his star rose quickly he became a household name, starred in movies, he did stadium shows, and is one of the most successful comedians of all time. His name is Steve Martin (1).
The moral of his story is growth is small, I'm sure he had to overcome fears and setbacks. He had to stick with it when he may have gotten booed at the club. It took him 18 years to reach that level of success. We cannot rush growth but we need to stick to our plans to grow
Time & Growth
It is very difficult to notice daily growth, but when we add time into the equation it is easier to achieve a certain measure of growth.
If I read every day for the rest of my life I'm probably going to get smarter (hopefully) but I may not notice it on a daily basis.
If I lift weights every day and add a little weight every week. It may not be noticeable that week or month, but if you started at 150lb and in 12 months' time can lift 300lb there has been some growth.
So we can't judge where we are in our journey to learn and become someone better. Recognize that if we are doing something that moves us forward that is positive momentum. There are going to be forces that hold us back or create resistance.
I think one of the hallmarks of growth is the ability to grow in the face of resistance.