Do you often find that you’re comparing yourself to others? Perhaps to a family member, a close friend, or someone famous on social media? If the answer is yes, then welcome to the club. The sad truth is that it’s the reality for too many of us.
Social comparison starts at a very early age. Children discover very quickly that not everyone lives the same life or has the same opportunity as them. 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 stop. It often 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 impulses, which may continue well into their adulthood years.
5 Reasons You Should Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.
– Steven Furtick
If you’re guilty of often comparing yourself to others, here’s why you need to stop right now.
Comparison is the thief of joy
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 pursuing your own dreams and goals. Don’t waste your precious time on those of others.
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 for some of us, 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.
– Jen Sincero
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 experiences problems and challenges throughout their lives. No one is exempt from this. Some people are just better at keeping it together, at least on the outside. So next time you compare yourself to your friend or neighbor, remember that you probably do not know every detail about their life.
There will always be someone better than you at something
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 everything in life. All you have to do is work hard and try your best, and whatever is meant to be will fall into place for you at the right moment.