Every time things aren’t going exactly as I had planned in my life, I tend to make the same huge mistake: I start comparing myself to others who have, are, or do what I wished I did. Actually, a lot of us do it.
The problem us that comparing ourselves to other people will not only do nothing for our well-being, but will actually have us feeling more unsatisfied or depressed. Good news is: we have the power within ourselves to stop doing it and live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Why comparing yourself to others is harmful
Before we go any further, let me say that not all comparisons are bad. In fact, looking upon other people who are successful or have accomplished something that we would also like to, is good inspiration and motivation in many cases.
However, when comparisons are born from frustration in our own lives, the result is quite the opposite.
Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle
You see, there are no two lives exactly the same. This may sound obvious, but when we’re not feeling completely satisfied, we tend to forget it. It is easy for us to believe that because we have something in common with another person (it could be age, work experience, education, you name it), all the conditions are met so that we achieve the same results.
But in reality, while maybe one or two variables are alike, there are an infinite number of other factors that make comparisons unrealistic. So whether you come off as the “worse”or “better” part in the comparison, you will only be fooling yourself.
Happiness and personal development are not competitions. Even if you compare yourself to someone else and feel like you’re in a better place, you’ll only be stepping away from your own path, too concerned looking at what the rest are doing.
And if the result of the comparison is the feeling that you’re doing worse, you’ll just add unnecessary and unproductive distress to your life.
How to stop comparing yourself to others
So, how do you stop comparing yourself to others? What do you do instead? You only compare yourself… to yourself.
The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday
You are your own North, the only valid variable against which you can contemplate your life and decide if you’re where you want to be. Or if it’s time to do something about it.
Think about the person you were some months ago, maybe even a year, five or ten ago. Are you closer to your dreams? Are you happier? Are you living by your believes and values?