We are wired to compare. We compare every day. Will this pair of shoes match my outfit today or go with my outfit tomorrow? Which is the better phone? Will I get to work faster if I take the car or the train? Which restaurant offers the best tasting steak? All these questions involve comparison.
But comparing ourselves to others is a whole different story. Comparing ourselves to other people is unfair because we can only know so much about another person. Constantly comparing ourselves to others can rob us of our joy. This is a game you can never win.
Think about it. If you are in a worse situation than others, you tend to feel sorry for yourself. Self-pity will not bring you anywhere near your own vision of success. If you think you are doing far better than others, you will have the tendency to inflate your ego. When you reach a point where you’re no longer doing better, the fall is much harder and you can develop resentful feelings against other people. See, no winner here.
Now, remember those times when you compared yourself to other people. Did it bring any added value to your life? Did it bring you happiness? Did it help you reach your goals? I doubt that it did. If you are doing better than someone else, so what? Self-comparison most likely won’t have much effect in your life.
However, comparing oneself to others is not easy to avoid. But being aware of the tendency to compare is a better way for you to grow as a person. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Avoiding self-comparison can help you reach greater heights in your life. Here are some ways:
1. Increase self-awareness
Instead of referring to others about becoming successful or doing better in life, assess yourself. Most likely, you and any other person will have varying perceptions of success. Therefore, there is no better way to achieve success than by being aware of yourself first. What is your perception of success? Is it a comfortable life? Having financial freedom? Being an entrepreneur, a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, or a Nobel Prize winner?
Once you set your perception of success, it is much easier to work your way towards achieving it. To do that, you must become aware of your strengths and weaknesses, your capabilities and limitations, and your thoughts and feelings.
Peeking at what other people are doing will not help you achieve your dreams and aspirations in life.
2. Be the master of your own thoughts
Like I noted, to stop comparing yourself to other people is not easy, but you can be aware that you are doing it. If you reach a point where you are starting to compare again, be in control of your thoughts. Remember that this comparison will not do you any good. It’s just a waste of precious time. Divert your attention to more productive thoughts.
3. Compare yourself to yourself
If you are going to do any comparing, compare yourself to yourself. Doing so can help you change your own thoughts and behaviors for the better. Yes, change is possible if you choose it. Compare yourself now to how you were ten years ago. What progress have you made? Did you just become older or did you become wiser? This comparison helps you become the best version of yourself.
4. Be aware of your success
Think of your own achievements and reflect on how you were able to reach them. Even the slightest winning moment deserves a few moments of discernment. If you are a writer, a published news article is worth celebrating. If you are an entrepreneur, being able to solve a problem in your business is a winning moment.
These wins help you to become motivated and make you a better person. It also helps to build self-confidence. With this, you can be inspired to take more shots towards success.
5. Give thanks
Being grateful for the things we have, the successes we achieved, and the knowledge we acquired keeps us grounded. It reminds us of our priorities and what matters most in life such as family, friends, relationships, and happiness.
Also, we should thank other people who have helped us, directly or indirectly. This strengthens our relational bonds and human connectivity.
6. Accept that nobody is perfect
Especially in moments of failure, you have to accept that nobody is perfect, and that failure is temporary unless you don’t do something about it. No need to compare yourself to others to know this.
Situations are not permanent for you to do a fair comparison of yourself to others. Beyond that, the only life you can control is yours. Appreciate yourself more. Understanding yourself paves the way for understanding other people. With this, you can be kinder and more empathetic. These are traits that can help you become happier and more successful.
Do agree with this? Share your stories of comparing yourself to others. What resulted from your comparison?
Sue C. Smith is a fitness coach and mompreneur. She established essaycrest.com to share her passion for writing that sprung from blogging about her fitness regimen and healthy lifestyle. She then explored the world of writing even more and gradually fell in love with it. Sue wants to share her knowledge with readers. She has two lovely daughters who she teaches everything she knows about health, fitness, writing, and business. She aspires that one day, everyone will pay attention to their well-being through living a healthy lifestyle.