happy monday // Stop comparing yourself to others
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” —Theodore Roosevelt
I struggle with this in all aspects of my life. I blame my Chinese parents but to be honest, its a character flaw somewhere in my heart. Writing this post is like therapy for myself.
All aspects being: job, income, housing, success.. even my dog. There are an infinite number of categories upon which we can compare ourselves and also an infinite number of people we can compare ourselves and its so easy to jump deep into the rabbit-hole.
I know I am not alone in this emotion and the tendency to compare ourselves is human and normal but as Theodore Roosevelt said, it steals joy from our lives. And this habit has a ton of shortcomings:
- Unfair comparisons. We usually compare the worst of ourselves to the best of others.
- Time robbers. Every second we spend comparing is a second wasted on improving yourself.
- We are our own person. You are unique; your talents and successes are valued uniquely to you- it can’t be compared to anyone else.
- Metrics. If you are going to compare, you need the numbers to properly measure it and that is impossible.
- Rabbit-hole. There is no end in sight when you are comparing yourself. It can overtake your day and overtake your life from attaining success.
- Resentment. You’ll end up resenting yourself and others.
- Joy. Depriving one self of joy is detrimental. They add no meaning, value or fulfillment to our lives – just a distraction.
… and these are just some of the negative issues.
So, here are our helpful tips on how to break free from this habit. It will be hard, but read them through, consider each one and move forward with them in your daily life.
Tips On How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Recognize your silly harmful behaviors.
Take a good look at the list above and notice the harmful effects in your life. Make it a point to intentionally remove it from your life.
Recognize your own successes.
No matter what you do, you have a unique perspective by having your own unique experiences. You have the capacity to love and contribute. You DO accomplish a lot so write them out, tell other people and look at your successes square in the eye.
Pursue the greater things in life.
Some of the greatest treasures that help us be better people are behind the scenes: humility, love, empathy, selflessness and generosity. Screw the society’s definition of success.
It forces us to recognize the good things we already have.
There will always be competition and there are times when it is appropriate but we don’t need to compete with each other to “win”. Compete to be better for yourself and your own goals. Be inspired instead of jealous.
Constant Reminder: nobody is perfect.
Find the balance between focusing on the positive and focusing on the negative. Triumph requires you to overcome obstacles and everybody is suffering for their own reasons and also on their own. You might not see it but it is there.
Step back and take a break.
An easy thing to do go for a walk. Change your surroundings a bit and take a break. Allow for the change and it will prompt change in your thinking.
Being inspired and learning from others is the smartest move. Comparing is silly. Talk to the people you admire or read the books they write. Ask questions and compliment. Being a genuine, whole-hearted person feels good for yourself and people feel it too.
If you need to compare, compare with yourself.
Everyone should be striving to be the best person they can be for themselves. Not just for our own selves but for what we can offer to others. Start at your core and find the balance between mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health and it will shine through. (seriously, you will start to attract like-minded people *refer to last weeks post) and commit to improving and growing a little bit each day.
Now, saying all this is easy, the struggle is there and its hard. It will always happen. Just be conscious about it and choose to think differently instead of comparing yourself to others. There is a huge freedom once you just let go. (even if its just a little).