You may have seen many people always comparing themselves with other people in many terms. Comparison is a sure-fire recipe for a drop in self-confidence and for unhappiness because it’s obvious we usually compare with a person who is better than us in any particular field. But we all know this very well that it’s not healthy most of the time! But can we stop it by just saying we should not compare ourselves and blah blah blah… No! It’s not that easy for most of us. So today let’s discuss it on a broad level and try to figure out it’s solution.
So comparison is not new for all of us. From initial stage of our life, we are wired by everyone by comparing us to other children using taunts like – “Look! He is so good at studying and see yourself” and many more. These taunts are endless. And we have been compared to others very often and gradually we start feeling inferior overlooking our real talent. Our mindset becomes that we are not good and others are better than me and all. And this becomes unhealthy in our teenage and rest of life.
The funny thing about this is that most of us do at one time or another — and some of us do pretty often.
Sometimes it’s about something genetic, like wishing to be taller, but most of the time, our comparison is about something the other person is capable of doing that we wish we could do as well. Maybe someone’s grades are better than yours, and maybe someone has better wealth than you. Sometimes this comparison motivates us and sometimes it’s destructive.
You know you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Yet, that’s often easier said than done.
WHY WE SHOULD NOT COMPARE?
We would focus on the “HOW?” later in the article. Let’s first acknowledge the harms of comparing ourselves with other people. Following are some common harms when we compare our lives with that of others doing better.
1. Reduces our self-confidence:-
Self-confidence is obviously a necessity for doing great in life. What would a person do with no confidence in himself/herself! Comparing our life basically results in a lack of self-confidence that he/she is better than me. And gradually comparison makes you inferior and costs you a lot in your life. Without self-confidence it is impossible to do anything in your life. Your subconscious mind would give you a thousand reasons why you can’t do a particular thing in your life if you have no self-confidence.
2. Leads to overthinking :-
It is one of the major reasons for overthinking which leads to stress and depression. We start comparing and we don’t even know when we got in the overthinking trap. So one should obviously avoid comparison to not overthink our issues in life.
3. Deprives us of Joy:-
Comparison leads to unhappiness and anxiety. It adds no value in our life but only snatches our precious time and leads to resentment towards everyone only. It deprives us to enjoy our life fully and only highlights our shortcomings!
4. Leads to a negative self-talk:-
Constantly comparing leads to a lot of negative self-talks which leads to our negative and complaining attitude towards Life. Our attention diverts to our weaknesses from strengths and our self esteem goes down .
There are a lot of harms of comparison but we have to focus more on its solution more.
HOW TO AVOID COMPARISON?
Now we have acknowledged the harms of comparison. But how can we avoid it? Since it has become so natural so it would for sure take some time to avoid it completely. It’s a time taking process. Here are a few points which would help you in avoiding comparison.
1. Acknowledge Yourself:-
First of all if you want to change anything you need to know and accept that you actually compare yourself. Analyze your thoughts when your mind compares and how it compares. Observe your thoughts to know the real cause. Just know how your brain compares and to whom it compares usually on what basis.
Also it’s recommended to know what triggers your mind to compare. Most of the time it’s our failure or other people’s social media handles. So social media detoxification is often advised to escape this. But it’s not a complete solution. Yes you can escape from it for a shorter time but still you need to know how to deal from it. So filtering what to see on social media is a good way to escape it. But to avoid it you need to know how to deal with it. You have to become such a person that even other’s posted success doesn’t distract and affect your mind.
You need to observe your own thought process to change it. Know how you think. If you want to control it fully you need to know how your Brain actually sees the situation. After observing follow the below tips.
2. Avoid Unfair Comparison Completely:-
If you observe, Most of the time, Our Comparison is not even fair! What we do is compare ourselves about something in which we are weak or just average to the person who is excellent in that particular field. And we just look at only that quality overlooking things in which we are excellent.
This quote is very famous and so is true! Everyone has natural brilliance in something. But we compare ourselves on the basis of a particular thing which is illogical.
For example, If you are not good in grade than the topper of your class then it doesn’t mean you are inferior. Maybe you play some sport better than him/her or you are better at singing or you have the talent of writing. So instead of comparing you should be grateful for what you have.
Also many times, We make unfair comparisons by ignoring the time and effort invested by someone. We just see the success and feel like a loser for not achieving that much. But we ignore the time the other person has invested. Like we just begin something and just after 2 months compare ourselves with someone in the same work for years and say why we haven’t achieved that much! That’s a totally unfair comparison and should be avoided.
Don’t compare your chapter 1 with someone’s chapter 20.
It’s the third type where our comparisons go unfair. No one is perfect. Everyone has their own weaknesses and downsides in their life. Everyone has their own struggle. They also suffer from their problems and have to deal with many issues. But what it seems to us is only their brighter and their success or strengths. Often we do not know every detail of their life and compare our dark moments with their brightest uploaded moments on social media. So next time whenever you are going to compare, Remember No-one is perfect.
3. Accept & Change your mindset:-
If you compare yourself to other people and find yourself at some lower level than others, You need to accept that! You can’t deny that they are not better than you and all. The reason for this may be a lot. Maybe they have started a long time ago and you are just in your beginning phase. Or many others .
So understand Everyone has their own life and struggles. You can’t be the best in everything. You need to accept that you are not the best in everything, Yet, You are unique and can be the best in your own field!
Your MINDSET should be focusing more on possibilities.
Related- How to develop a positive mindset?
4. Appreciate your small successes:-
Instead of complaining about everything, You should be grateful for what you have and what you have achieved. Don’t kill your achievements by comparing them to other people’s big successes. Appreciate your own efforts and achievements. If you compare often, you would end up demotivating yourself. Celebrate your success. Reward yourself for what you have achieved.
5. Learn from others success :-
Comparison can be constructive also. Compare yourself to the person who is in the same field with a learning attitude. You don’t have to be sad for your failure. If anyone has achieved more than you, Observe them. Learn from their journey. Compare constructively and know why you remain back. Improve your own game by observing their journey.
The only positive way to compare yourself is when you admire another’s achievements or abilities and you can model yourself on them. You can find out what steps led to their success and emulate their dedication or education or curiosity.
6. Compare with yourself:-
Best comparison is to compare ourselves with the person we were yesterday. It’s always about YOU vs YOU. Live your own game. Focus all your energy on how you can improve yourself daily. Look for possibilities of improvement in every area. Daily small improvement will automatically make you best in your field. Champions improve their game by comparing themselves and improving their shortcomings daily.
You are no better and no worse, just different due to genes and circumstances. Find your own direction, ask for help along the way and enjoy the journey. Put down any negative baggage you have collected and you will find that you achieve much.
And at last, Enjoy your journey. Don’t ruin it by unfair comparisons. Everyone has their own journey. So instead of comparing yourself with others , Focus more on your own life and possibilities. You are unique. You have some special qualities. Find your uniqueness.
All you have to do is to try your best and whatever is meant to be will fall into place for you at the right moment.