Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

(Your competition is with yourself)

Comparing ourselves with others creates a fake sense of being, and curbs our uniqueness and individuality. There are numerous other reasons why a constant comparison with others is a bad idea.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” Theodore Roosevelt

Comparing ourselves with others comes naturally to a lot of us. It is a trait that we develop early on in our lives. Remember how our teachers used to portray the head boy/girl as the role model for all of us. We were expected to be like them. Even at home, comparisons with siblings were inevitable. The burden of expectations always bordered upon how you fared with the best performer of the team. And in case, you were the best performer, the comparison with others only created an impression of strength and superiority.
The fact that many of us indulge in comparing our life, social status, appearance, wealth, etc., with others, is symptomatic of a deep-rooted desire to be accepted by others. When we put ourselves against others, we measure our strengths and weaknesses with them. The reason comparisons don’t work out is because no two people are similar. While one might be good at making money, another might be good at making friends. The point we are trying to drive home here, is that comparison between two individuals, who may appear to be equal due to the roles they play in their family or society, only creates the feeling of frustration, self-pity, low self-worth, and envy. There are other reasons why comparison with others should be avoided at all costs.

Why Comparing Ourselves with Others is Futile

Comparison creates dependency on others.

 

When we indulge in comparison, the way we think about ourselves becomes dependent upon how we perceive others around us. If we are doing better than A, we get an emotional boost, but as soon as we know about B’s affluence, we pity ourselves for not being able to achieve much in life. Comparisons with others only create a fake sense of being, and we find ourselves trying to keep up with others at all costs.

Comparison pushes us to be ‘at par’ with others.

 

Comparing ourselves with others takes away our individuality. It forces us to do things that we ideally don’t want to do. When we engage in the game of comparison, it becomes difficult for us to think pragmatically. We are blinded by the expectations of being ‘at par’ with our competitors. The urge of having the same set of luxuries that others can afford, engulfs us, curbing our real qualities. We endlessly compare ourselves to our neighbors and relatives, and base our decisions on gaining a positive perception from them.

Comparison causes envy and jealousy.

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Comparison is one of the major reasons for creating envy and jealousy among people. For example, it often happens that the moment we come to know that a peer or a relative has bought a new car, a feeling of envy masked by condescension overpowers us. Instead of being happy for them, we criticize their decision, and make up our mind that they have given in to imprudence, and are doomed to fail. We start making assumptions about how could they possibly afford it, convincing ourselves at the same time that they will soon be under debts. In reality, the perception that the friend will now get more respect and approval from others, pesters us from inside and creates a sense of being less-worthy from him. We constantly battle against ourselves, and look for ways to beat him in this perceived competition.

Comparison limits our potential.

When we compare ourselves with others, we subconsciously place limits on what we can possibly achieve. It results in the creation of a mental block, which prevents us from giving our 100%. For example, if X holds the university record of running a mile in 4 minutes, Y’s entire focus will be on doing it under 4 minutes. By comparing himself with X, Y places a limitation on himself. If Y just competes against himself, and develops his skills over a period of time, he will be able to give his best shot, without constantly focusing on X’s record. The important thing to remember is that we shouldn’t base our targets on what others are able to achieve. We don’t know their strengths and weaknesses thoroughly, but we do know ours, so it is prudent to make the best use of that.

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Be yourself.

The first thing to do to stay away from the mire of comparisons is to love yourself for who you are. You may think that you are not perfect, but that is what makes us humans different from each other. As Oscar Wilde famously put it, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Accepting yourself with all your flaws is pertinent if you really want to experience inner peace and calmness. Being content with what you have doesn’t mean that you stay in a cocoon, and shy away from taking any steps to improve your skills. What it means is that you set realistic targets for yourself, and work towards achieving them.

Realize that constant comparison is a bad habit.

 

The problem with constant comparison is that it is ingrained in us from a pretty young age, and therefore, we indulge in comparisons subconsciously. Ask a group of people whether they compare themselves to others, you will not get too many affirmations. When we do something far too often, without knowing its repercussions, we fail to see it as a vice. Therefore, to extricate ourselves from the web of unnecessary comparisons, we need to be aware of what we are doing. Any time you feel that you are trying to measure up to somebody, engage in self-talk, and convince yourself that this whole idea can be noxious for you. Constantly look out for such behavior, and dissociate your mind from such feelings. Over a period of time, you will see that the urge to always compare yourself with others has gone down.

Appreciate the efforts of your peers.

Try to appreciate the people you always compare yourself with. Criticizing them behind their backs may make you feel good for some time, but if you look at it pragmatically, you end up achieving nothing out of it. Instead, you can bring about a positive change in your attitude by commending the virtues of your friends, colleagues, and relatives.

(from public_awareness@yahoogroups.com)

The Last Lecture

Dr. Randy Pausch died of pancreatic cancer in 2008, but wrote a book ‘The last lecture” before then, one of the bestsellers in 2007. What a legacy to leave behind… In a letter to his wife Jai and his children, Dylan, Logan , and Chloe, he wrote this beautiful “guide to a better life” for his wife and children to follow. May you be blessed by his insight.
ersonality:
1. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 2. Don’t have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment 3. Don’t over do; keep your limits 4. Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does 5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip 6. Dream more while you are awake 7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness. 9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others. 10. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present 11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you 12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime. 13. Smile and laugh more 14. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.unity:
15. Call your family often 16. Each day give something good to others 17. Forgive everyone for everything 18. Spend time with people over the age of 70  under the age of 6 19. Try to make at least three people smile each day 20. What other people think of you is none of your business 21. Your job will not take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch.
22. Put GOD first in anything and everything that you think, say and do.
23. GOD heals everything 24. Do the right things 25. Whatever good or bad a situation is, it will change 26. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up 27. The best is yet to come 28. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful 29. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it 30. If you know GOD you will always be happy. So, be happy.
While you practice all of the above, share this knowledge with the people you love, people you school with, people you play with, people you work with and people you live with.
Not only will it enrich YOUR life, but also that of those around you.
source: unknown