We all have been comparing ourselves or have been compared to others all our lives. When we were small kids we were compared by our height or weight, the faster we learned to recite poems and tables and when we grew up, the comparing standards became speed and our strength, our marks, and even the extent of fun we have. When we grew up a little more, we have been comparing ourselves to others in terms of better jobs and salaries. Throughout our lives, we have been compared to others. The sad reality is: it is us who compares ourselves to others most of the time! Comparing is so much en-weaved in us that we can’t help comparing ourselves to others. It is like all that we do in our life, to make our lives better are used for comparing them to the best of others.
The Comparison Game: Why comparing yourself to others feels bad?
We have often heard people saying and advising “never compare yourself to others” or “stop trying to present yourself to others”. But most of them don’t follow it themselves and are likely comparing themselves to you! Comparison is a thief of joy. Nothing good ever comes out of comparing yourself to others. When you move on for a comparison mission you will always find the things that give you less joy and pleasure. When you compare what you have, what you will always be less. The grass always appears greener on the other side and it’s actually not your fault; it is basic human nature. But what isn’t right is, comparing other people’s strengths to your weaknesses. It isn’t fair when you only compare your limitations and weaknesses.
The reason we struggle with insecurities is because we compare our behind the scenes to everyone’s highlight reel.Steven Furtik
This is what makes you feel bad. Instead of focusing on something more you might have you always compare something less you have. We create the reasons for being unhappy and then ask around ‘why comparing yourself to others feels bad’. When you compare mangoes with orange you lose the taste of both of them. Instead of this why not look at our own self and compare ourselves to what we were yesterday?
Perfection does not exist! Every time you catch up with the person you were comparing yourself to, remember that the same person is comparing himself to someone else. So who is the winner here? Comparing yourself to others is a cycle, it is a rat race, a rat race of losers where nobody wins! We get so focused on what we don’t have that we lose the sight of what we actually have and end up losing everything.
What do you do when you are comparing yourself to others?
When you stick to the comparison game, you lose all your strength and the things that you should be proud of. Instead of moving forward with will and motivation, you are pulled back by the insecurities you made in the first place.
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.”
We compare ourselves to our peers in terms of salary, money, gadgets, their homes, and their academic performances and where does it get us? Who has it ever helped? If you say now that you have done better in the past by comparing yourself then you are wrong! You succeeded because you did well and had the abilities in the first place. Comparing yourself to others in the beginning only dissatisfied and disappointed you.
It would be hard not to compare. All our judgments and evaluations are relative in nature and hence rely on conclusions so find something better to compare- Compare yourself to what you were earlier and take pride in the better person you have become.
The bitter truth of comparing ourselves to others
The truth is, there will always be someone who has more than what you have, and once you jump in that competition there is no coming out until the day you realize what you have was already enough, but it’s too late. Somebody will always be prettier, smarter, healthier, thinner, wiser, younger, or richer than you are and it’s perfectly okay. If there is something you have less that there is definitely something you have more as well. You just need to find it within yourself.
If you think that you are lacking in some ways then who is stopping you from improving? You have the time and just need the will. Comparing yourself to others doesn’t need to get involved. Maybe the person you were comparing yourself with is comparing himself with you for something you don’t even realize you have. So, stop comparing yourself to others. Yes, there will always be people who are better than you but what you need is to focus on your progress from yesterday.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.Eleanor roosevelt
Here are some tips to follow on How to stop comparing yourself to others:
As said earlier, humans are social animals. The judgments and the decisions we take are all relative and rely on social comparisons. Simply saying “from today I am not comparing myself to others” won’t work. You need to take some concrete steps that will allow you to divert the comparing in a productive direction and help you stop comparing.
1. Actively pursue personal growth:
When you actively pursue personal growth, you won’t have time to focus on someone else’s garden, because you’d be so busy watering your own plant! Put the work and energy that you were using in focusing on someone else and put in your personal growth. The only way you will stop focusing on others is if you think that focusing on yourself is much more productive and valuable.
2. Close your eyes when you see something over fascinating:
Learn to stay in your own lane and stay focused on your own lane. The more you crave stuff you don’t have the more you lose something you do have. This causes anxiety and restlessness which is the wrong motivation to achieve something. This kind of motivation is built on sand and never lasts. If you cannot look at something or somebody without negatively comparing yourself then do yourself a favor and remove them out of your sight. If you find yourself becoming obsessively anxious about someone or something that you follow online unfollow them or mute them. Do whatever it takes to get them out of your sight and brain. You have to be strong and affirmative else find ways to embrace it and accept the facts. This will decrease the level of secret competition that was on ‘ON’ mode by you.
3. Surround yourself with more people that are at your level:
Surround yourself with people who are starting their journey just like you are. Maintain a ratio of 80 to 20. 80 being those who are at the same level as you are and 20 being ones whom you want to become your inspirations and idols. This will increase your self-esteem and maintain your interest in the field. What people do wrong is, they start comparing themselves to those 80% of people they want to become and feel dejected that they aren’t there yet. You are at the start of something great. Don’t let other people’s progress discourage you. Focus on how you can become more productive.
4. Focus on a broader vision:
Where do you want to see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years? Are you doing enough to be there? If the answer is yes then why worry? If the answer is no then why focus on others when you need to focus on yourself? Use your visions, aspirations, desires, and ideal future to get the motivation you need to improve yourself. See if you are actually taking steps forward and compare those steps to the steps you took earlier.
5. Focus on the extraordinary things you have in life:
To frequently charge and boost your system you need to remind yourself about the good things you have in life. Count them as your blessings. Take time and remember all the good things that you have and what you have already achieved. Love yourself and feel grateful and strive harder to improve yourself.
Set your own standards for comparing yourself
Why do we always need other people or society’s standards to compare ourselves? Why do we need to follow the standard set by others and why can’t we set our own standards?
The standards that we are using now were set so many years ago. As the world is evolving so are those standards, then why can’t we make our own standards? Instead of trying to compare yourself to others try making your own victory marks and compare how well you are doing and how well you need to do.
Make your self-best as your standard. Repeat every day: I’ll compete with the best version of myself. I’ll do a little more than I did yesterday. Embrace your uniqueness. You can be like someone, someone can be like you but they can never be you and you can never be them and that’s what makes life wonderful. Celebrate your uniqueness and make your own standards. You are your own person. Don’t live a life whose rules were dictated by others.
Comparing yourself is not always bad. It gives you a blueprint of your road to success and it can help you avoid mistakes but it is only good as long as it is really helping you. You know better than anyone else the effect it is having on you and lying to your own self won’t help. Use comparison to become a better person; use it to calculate your improvement, position, and finding the ways you can improve more. Compare yourself with you yesterday.
Comparing yourself to others has always discouraged us and made the road to achieving our goals a little longer. Stop falling prey to this dark underbelly which increases misery and an increased sense of loss in life. Always remember- Your story is unique and so different it’s not worthy of comparison.