We are obsessed with other people. Even the most 'I don't care' people in our world still spend a lot of time and energy comparing themselves to and trying to replicate other people. Have you ever taken a photo of someone into a hairdressers or barbers and asked your stylist to imitate their look on you? Have you ever seen an actor in a movie or series and decided that that is the physique you want? Have you ever based your performance, good or bad, on how it compares to the performance of others?
We constantly look to compare ourselves and when we see someone we believe in the moment to be better we make it our goal to become that person or feel bad about the fact that we aren't them. The reality is the only person we should be focused on is ourselves. Someone else's ability, looks or performance has no impact on our own. Their haircut might not suit you, that outfit they look great in might not work for you, their physique is theirs and unless you have the same proportions as them it just isn't possible to look the same. We have no control over what they do or are but we have all the control over what we do and become.
When it comes to training many people focus their objective on aesthetics; they want to look a certain way. This is fine and is probably the primary driver for most people who set foot into a gym. The problem comes when we want to look like a certain person we've decided has the body we want. Replicating someone else's physique is pretty much impossible, especially when most people we idolise are at the thin end of the genetic wedge - they have an advantage genetically. Deciding you want to look like Jason Momoa isn't helpful if you aren't 6 foot 3, broad shouldered and have amazing hair.
What we can focus on is our own body. Can we lose some body fat, can we add some muscle mass, do we have any imbalances that can be addressed with specific training efforts. If we work with what we have available to us (you) then we can form a plan, make some progress and achieve some goals.
When it comes to performance it can sometimes be beneficial to compare our markers to others but only if they are on the same path as us. Looking at elite level athletes and feeling down trodden about our performance in comparison to theirs is not helpful. We can be inspired or motivated by their abilities and use it to make us want more from ourselves but we mustn't let it take away from our own achievements.
Comparing ourselves to our direct peers, people who have similar training environments and habits to us, might be able to give us a benchmark for where we sit but that benchmark is irrelevant unless our training objective is the same. Your friend might be able to squat more than you but you aren't training to be good at squats you are focusing on a marathon in 3 months time and vice versa.
The only thing we really need to pay attention to is the progress we are making towards the outcome we want. Are we moving in the right direction, are we hitting our targets and committing to our process? If so then nothing else really matters.
So do, focus on and control YOU.