If youâre lacking contentment, it could be because youâre comparing yourself to others. Youâve been on Facebook and seen the pictures of others living their seemingly exciting lives. It only takes a moment to find yourself wishing you had someone elseâs career, body, house, or vacation.
Comparing ourselves to others is a common activity!
But thereâs a critical flaw in this mental exercise. You simply donât have all the information. Someone might have a great body, but they might be seriously ill. That great vacation might have been paid for with an inheritance after a family member passed away.
A smarter strategy is to compare yourself to your own recent past. How is your figure compared to 6 months ago? How are your finances compared to last year? If youâre making progress, congratulate yourself. Most people arenât doing nearly as well. Theyâve weighed the same 210 lbs. and had the same $1,200 in their bank account for the last 20 years.
If your life isnât moving forward, then take pause and address the situation.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, âComparison is the thief of joy.â Think about that statement and decide if it rings true for you.
Try these tips to free yourself from unnecessary comparisons:
- Catch yourself early in the process. As soon as you realize that youâre making comparisons to others, shift your focus to something else.
- You can control your thoughts, so use that ability to your advantage.
- Remember that the journey is what matters. Everyone is on a journey to learn, create, and become something unique. Itâs an individual experience that isnât impacted by what others are doing or accomplishing.
- Comparing yourself to others is a game that canât be won. There are a lot of people in the world. Through sheer statistics, there will always be someone with a more attractive spouse, more money, a better car, or a more interesting life.
- Thereâs no way to compete with 8 billion people in every facet of life.
- Look to your strengths. Comparisons tend to focus on our weaknesses. We usually compare our shortcomings against others. Embrace your strengths and be proud. Now use those strengths to your advantage.
- List the things you have. Comparisons highlight the things we lack. Itâs much more productive to think about the things you do have. Your mood and frame of mind will be more positive, and youâll be in a better position to compete and succeed.
- People only let you see the things that want you to see. Sure, theyâll let you see their new BMW and the vacation pictures from Maui. But youâll never see the tears and fights in the bedroom, or the verbal abuse they take from their mother-in-law. Keep in mind that social media is primarily used for showing the good, rather than telling the bad.
- Itâs just a habit. Our lives are filled with habits, and some of them are harmful. Poor mental habits are restrictive. Itâs like going through life with the emergency brake on.
- Labeling the tendency to compare as a habit has a powerful advantage because we know that habits can be broken.
Comparing yourself to others is limiting and self-defeating. No one can be expected to compare favorably to the vast number of people in the world. Make an effort to limit your comparisons to your own recent past. Are you making progress or backsliding? If you continue to enhance the areas that are important to you, your life is likely to be fulfilling and exciting!