On page 496 in our text book, we read about social comparisons and the question "where do I stand?" The text books tells us that by comparing ourselves with those around us, it "helps us to understand ourselves and our social worlds better." Our text book also tells us that there are two different types of social comparisons that we as people do. There is the upward social comparison where we compare ourselves to those who are "above" or "superior" to us in some way. When we compare ourselves in this way though, we often think that if they are able to achieve something really good then we will be able to do the same too. The other way is downward social comparison, we compare ourselves to those who we think are less than us or "inferior" to us. When we meet people who make us feel inferior to them though, we as people often tend to think that they have some exceptional talent and that's why they are able to do what they do.
Personally, I do the upward social comparison a lot. I have a tendency to compare myself to others who are smarter or more successful but instead of letting that discourage me, I use it to motivate myself to be better and to do better. I stop myself from making excuses like "oh, they're just naturally gifted and I'm not." Because saying "I can't" about yourself is just an excuse for yourself. All things are possible if you set your mind to it. But although comparing yourself to others may help to motivate you, it can also hurt you because that may cause you to overlook your self worth, thinking that you aren't good enough or you can't do what those other people are doing. So instead of asking "where do I stand in relation to someone else," ask "where do I stand in relation to where I hope to be."