Do you ever compare yourself to anyone?
Of course, you do. Everyone does.
Actually, “Stop comparing yourself to others” is great advice and you’ve probably heard it over a million times. Sincerely, it helps, because weighing your life with someone else’s sometimes leads to mental exhaustion and an inferior feeling.
Your explore feed on Instagram is flooded with hot pictures of your friend and his “Perfect Family”. Somehow, the pictures are always classy and get more likes than yours.
The new guy at work just won a big award and your boss won’t stop ranting about how efficient he is.
It’s annoying, right?
The right thing to do is give him a big hug, congratulate him and also hit the like button. But you don’t, because if you want to let your original thoughts run free, you’re not happy and it makes you feel horrible.
PS; You don’t naturally hate him, it’s just normal that sometimes the success of others makes us feel terrible.
In her book, The Happiness Makeover, M.J Ryan talked about how “it’s part of the function of the brain to compare”. You know what they say about cheating nature, you really can’t get away with it.
According to The Happy Talent, “Scientists call looking at those who are less fortunate, downward comparison, and how it is remarkably effective at boosting our happiness”. It’s bad habit but if we’re honest here, we all feel better when we compare ourselves with someone whose life is going south.
One of the most attractive attributes a human could possess is confidence. Along with this, we all need to keep learning to meet up with an acceptable standard.
Since it’s a natural feeling that we can’t completely fight off, we have to convert the bad habit into something that benefits and improves our life generally.
It’s useless to compare yourself with an Instagram follower, what they post is largely far from reality.
Regardless of your field, there’s always someone better, someone worth looking up to and modeling. So, why not compare yourself to the best?
The right thing to do is compare your habits, daily routine, decision-making or discipline with those you admire the most. This could either be someone around you who’s good at what he does, or even an exceptional personality.
You should note that comparing yourself shows you what’s possible. When you notice the good works of other people, you get that “I can totally pull this off” feeling. Although you might have to tweak it a bit, the point is you have a new awesome idea.
As a matter of fact, it makes you competitive in a good and productive way.
Noticing the success of other people doesn’t make you an awful person or mean you wish them bad. Rather, it makes you yearn for more.
What are the things they do that make them so good?
What makes them stand out?
This is really what you should look out for and add to your “To-achieve list”.
In addition, Adam Grant, the author of “Originals” has noted that “Comparing ourselves to others may be the thief of joy, but it can be a powerful motivator.”
So, comparison helps you identify your differences, shortcomings, or areas of improvement. Hence, you should use the information to better yourself and make progress in your own career.
Personally, I believe it’s okay to compare yourself to other people.
No matter how many articles you read on how not to compare yourself to others, it probably wouldn’t work. Not trying to discourage your self-developing actions but to be honest, no matter how hard you try, you’re still going to compare yourself anyway.
So, rather than beating yourself up for an unconscious action you can’t completely dismiss, just allow it to build you up.
The action might not make you feel instantly great, but it will keep you abreast of what you should be doing right. It serves as motivation and helps you push further.
A marathon runner strives to be better when he sees the speed of his competitors. Everyone wants to be great and if you haven’t seen what greatness looks like, you wouldn’t know how to achieve it.
Why not learn the same way a marathon runner does?