Have you ever compared yourself to another person? Perhaps you’ve compared yourself to a family member, a close friend, or to someone famous on social media? If the answer is yes, then you are one of the millions! Sounds shocking? Well, it’s the reality.
Social comparison starts at a very early age. Children discover very quickly that not everyone lives the same life or has the same opportunity. They see how some friends have more toys or better clothes or live in nicer houses. As these children grow older and become teenagers, the comparing doesn’t suddenly stop. In fact, it actually intensifies and turns into negative self-talk. Thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t do anything right” or “I’ll never make it” slowly start creeping into their minds. This kind of gloomy thinking causes them to develop anxiety and depression-like behaviors, which often may continue well into their adulthood years.
So if you’re guilty of comparing yourself to everyone around you, here’s why you need to stop right now.
Comparison is the thief of joy
Now I’m sure you’ve heard this saying a million times, but it’s very important to reiterate it. Comparing yourself to others only makes your life difficult and brings you misery and pain. Instead, try using others as motivation to work harder and do better.
Comparison will stall your progress
If you spend your days comparing yourself to other people’s achievements, you’ll never get anything accomplished. You must invest all your energy into your personal dreams and goals. Don’t waste your precious time.
You can’t physically change who you are
You are you. You’ll always be you. You’ll never be anyone else. And although it might be hard to believe, this is actually a good thing. To explain why, here’s my favorite quote from author Jen Sincero:
“There will never be anyone exactly like you. You were given special gifts and talents to share with the world, and even though everybody has special gifts and talents, nobody will use theirs quite the same way you do.”
So start believing in your uniqueness!
No one has a perfect life
Although you might think that a lot of people are leading an amazing life with no down sides, know that this isn’t true. Every single person on this Earth goes through life with problems and challenges. No one is exempt from this. Some people are just better at keeping it together. So next time you compare yourself to your friend or neighbor remember that you might probably not know every single detail about their life.
There will always be someone better than you at one point in your life
I know this last point might seem a little harsh, but it’s the reality. So the sooner you accept it, the happier you’ll be. I remember, when I was younger, I would cry my eyes out every time my best friend got a better grade than me. So to soothe me, my dad would say, “There will always be someone better than you at one point in your life.” At first, I didn’t really understand where he was going with it and frankly, it left me with even more pain. But as I grew older, I realized he was right. At some point in your life, someone will beat you to whatever it is you’re after. You can’t always win at life. All you have to do is work hard and try, and whatever is meant to be will fall in place for you eventually.