Making comparisons is a practice. More clothes, more vacation time, and more money are constantly made available; it never ends. At first glance, the comparison may appear to be harmless, if not beneficial. After all, shouldn’t we all be aware of where we stand in comparison to others? However, you should never compare yourself to others because it is a very exhausting activity. After all, competing in this race involves the possibility of finishing first one minute and last the next.
The stakes of comparison are high, and it can leave you exhausted and unhappy in the long run. It doesn’t matter if it’s the latest Apple Watch, the season’s pocketbook, or the job with the corner office.
However, just because you’ve decided to compare doesn’t mean you can’t choose to compare. What happens after that? Learn the six most important reasons why you should never compare yourself to others, as well as the actions you should take in their place.
We’ve all heard it’s bad for us, but can anyone explain why? After all, how can you know if you’re successful if you don’t compare yourself to others or consider what others have? Isn’t it preferable to know where you stand? The correct answer is “no.”
There is no advantage to being aware of how well we perform in comparison to other people. Let’s look at the effects that comparison can have on your life and health, as well as the reasons why you should avoid it.
When does enough become too much?
One thing is almost certain to be true: enough is never enough. People frequently say things like, “If I only had, I’d be happy.” If, on the other hand, you are successful in obtaining that object, job, opportunity, or whatever else, you will quickly become accustomed to it and crave more.
People, especially those of us who are competitive, enjoy getting better and better and accumulating more and more goods. This demonstrates that we are rarely satisfied with what we have.
When we come across someone who possesses something superior to what we do, the things we do seem insufficient. This loop’s viciousness stems from the fact that it never breaks. When we compare things, we are constantly looking for ways to better ourselves.
You may be dissatisfied
A comparison is a deceptive tool. It tells you that comparing yourself to others and then working toward achieving the same things they have will make you happy. However, the opposite is frequently true.
The higher we climb on the comparison ladder, the more miserable we may become as a result. Have you ever met someone who appears to have everything but is unhappy with their life? It’s possible that comparison resulted in this outcome.
As a result, if you can train your mind not to dwell on the possessions of others, you may notice a significant improvement in your mood. Simply deciding to stop comparing yourself to others may result in a change in your attitude and outlook.
Comparison, according to Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D. of Very Well Mind, can even make our lives more stressful and have an effect onaffect the connections we have. Several people have proposed this theory.
Why add more stress to an already hectic schedule and multiple responsibilities when you don’t have to? There is no room in our lives for any additional sources of stress. Stop comparing yourself to others and you will notice a significant increase in happiness.
Everyone is distinctive in their way
It is a somewhat absurd notion to desire to have everything that others have or even more than they have. Why? Because every one of us is unique!
Everyone here has unique skills, and we all make different amounts of money. Instead of recognizing and appreciating our uniqueness, most of us strive to appear conventional.
When a friend is constantly upgrading to the latest model of phone, for example, while you’ve had the same one for over a year, it can be difficult not to compare yourself to that person. However, you can conclude that this person earns a good wage and works hard to stay debt-free.
When you realize you and the other person are not the same, the comparison becomes a bad idea because you can’t compare something that isn’t the same. As a result, rather than focusing on what she has, consider your own life and the unique qualities that you bring to the table.
You could be comparing yourself to a mirage
When was the last time you posted an Instagram photo of yourself without makeup, with your hair undone, wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants, and your house in a state of disarray? Is that correct? Almost certainly not.
What are your thoughts? Everyone else on social media does the same thing: they only post the best parts of themselves. It’s possible that you’re comparing yourself to someone else’s best day, rather than their worst, or that it’s an entirely fabricated version of their life.
We are unable to make an exact comparison because we cannot always tell what is real and what is not on social media. So, why even start?
It’s fine to avoid drawing parallels between a typical day in your life and a photograph edited for twenty minutes by someone else. So, don’t compare yourself to others who may be “filtering” their true life experiences.
You run the risk of preventing the rest of the world from benefiting from what you have to offer
Is there any other reason why you should never, ever compare yourself to other people? There is no one else on the planet who is exactly like you in every way.
Consider how much time you spend comparing yourself to others and striving to be like them. In such a situation, you will be unable to provide the world with your unique perspective and ideas.
People will never get to know you for who you truly are! And there are things you can contribute at work and home, for others and yourself, that you might overlook if you are preoccupied with not having what someone else has. These include opportunities to improve both the lives of others and your own.
Allow yourself to be yourself rather than becoming preoccupied with how you compare to others. Consider how you can help others and the type of person you want to be. Consider what you can do to help others.
Instead of concentrating on what others are doing, concentrate on what you are doing. If everyone thinks about how they can help others and be their best selves, we can make the world a much better place very quickly.
Comparison has the potential to obscure the many positive aspects of one’s own life
When we compare our lives to those of others, it is difficult to appreciate all that we already have. If you focus on how amazing another person’s life is, you might miss out on the fact that you have wonderful friends and family, a job you enjoy, a talent for playing the piano, or anything else that contributes to your uniqueness.
As an exercise, try going about your day and making a mental note of all the positive aspects of your life. For example, being able to call the house you adore the home, appreciating the fact that your commute to work is relatively short, or relishing the fact that you have the weekend off. These are all fantastic opportunities that you should not overlook or dismiss.
What you should do instead of comparing yourself to others
The question now is, what can you do instead of wasting your time feeling envious of others or comparing yourself to others? There are numerous ways to avoid comparing yourself to others while still maintaining a positive outlook on your own life.
Be grateful for what you already have
If you are grateful for what you already have, you won’t have much time or energy to compare yourself to others. Being grateful is a practice, and it may take some time, like any other habit, to become ingrained in your daily routine. When you feel the urge to compare, it is best to start by reflecting on what you already have.
For example, “Well, so and so might have a brand new wardrobe, but even if I don’t have that, I’m grateful to have a home and a family that I adore,” one might say. If you make it a habit to regularly reflect on the good things in your life and give thanks, your thinking style will change for the better over time.
If you’re not sure where to start with thankfulness, Mindful has a great post on how to get started, including tips for writing and talking with others about your experiences.
Feel the rush of creating your own life
It is difficult to be enthusiastic about one’s own life when one is constantly focused on the life of another. It is best to avoid making comparisons with other people and instead focus on being excited about your own life. Permit yourself to enjoy the activities and experiences that you can partake in.
Be enthusiastic about your recent purchase of a used car, the recent purchase of your first home, your upcoming birthday party for a friend, or your recent registration for a marathon. The more you look for reasons to be happy in your own life, the more you will notice aspects of your life that bring you joy.
Try this the next time you hear someone brag about their fantastic career or their incredible trip to a tropical island: “That is something I could never do.”
They should be pleased
But, for my part, I’m looking forward to (adding in an upcoming event, a new hobby, or something else that you are looking forward to).
“It is possible to enjoy the accomplishments of others while also making progress toward your own goals.
Get away from social media
Despite its shortcomings, social media appears to be the place where people most frequently compare themselves. Taking a break can be beneficial and allow you to see things from a different perspective.
One of the most effective ways to avoid the trap of comparing oneself to others is to simply not know what other people are doing at any given time.
Starting with something simple, such as not using social media for one day, is a good place to start. If it works out, you could try it for a longer period, such as a week. More information on how to disconnect from social media can be found in our post!
Learn to enjoy the little things in life
It is essential to have a healthy appreciation for the simple things in life. Everyday activities include drinking the first cup of coffee in the morning, going for a walk outside, and spending the evening with friends. If you give each of them the attention and focus they deserve, you may find that comparisons are no longer necessary.
Spend some time each day looking for the small, everyday things that make you happy and inspire you to appreciate your life more. This can be done regardless of how your day is progressing. You can do this in a variety of ways, and the more you appreciate something, the less you will want to compare it to anything else.
Make a budget for your finances
Moving beyond comparison may be a lot of fun because of its usefulness. Instead of focusing on other people’s wealth or possessions, you should concentrate on making financial plans for yourself.
When you start focusing on what you can do rather than what other people are doing, the comparison ends. The following are some examples of different financial plans you can create:
Set a significant monetary goal for the coming year
Setting a significant monetary goal for the coming year that is both attainable and challenging enough to make you feel fantastic is one strategy for accomplishing this.
It is up to you to determine what will motivate you the most: saving for an emergency, putting down a down payment on a house, paying off debt so you can go on vacation, or something else. Make a monthly plan to achieve your yearly goal to make it more manageable.
Take care of your financial obligations
Another endeavor that has the potential to be extremely rewarding is debt repayment. Make a deal with yourself that you will be debt-free in a certain amount of time, such as two or three years. Then, make a concerted effort to make this a reality by developing a spending plan, saving a significant amount of money, or working extra hours.
Develop your finances with the long term in mind
You might also decide to create a personal financial plan for the coming year, the next five years, or even the next ten years. If you decide to develop a long-term strategy, it can help you maintain focus and ensure that your financial resources are used wisely.
These financial plans can help you become the person you want to be and achieve the goals that are right for you. Never judge yourself by the standards of others; instead, concentrate on your financial situation rather than the financial situations of others.
After all, you have your way of doing things in life, and even if you did, it’s unlikely that you’d want the same things as someone else.
Everyone has ideas about what they could do with their money and savings, but the things that are important to each of us are unique.
Make a list of your personal goals
Setting and achieving goals is an excellent way to increase your overall happiness in life and with yourself. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve a wide range of goals. You could try focusing on one aspect of your life at a time, or you could work on multiple goals at the same time. The following are some of the more common ones, but you are free to focus on whatever you want.
Fitness is becoming increasingly popular, and with good reason. You could set a goal for yourself to walk 10,000 steps every day, go to spin class regularly or run a marathon. Choose a goal for your physical activity that will both keep you healthy and enjoyable.
Travel goals are intriguing, and they provide an exciting opportunity to break away from monotony. Set a goal of visiting five different cities in the coming year.
If you prefer to stay close to home, make a plan to see as much as you can in your state. Travel is enjoyable and keeps your focus on the present moment, which is ideal for avoiding comparison.
Make it your goal to learn something new. Give yourself something to strive for, whether it’s a new language, a new hobby, or a course in a subject that interests you. This way, whenever you are tempted to compare, you can instead focus on your learning objectives.