Jimmy has nicer clothes;
Jasmine is smarter;
Karen has way long hair;
Ayo makes friend easily;
Paul is the most popular kid;
Teju is the most beautiful girl;
And there you are: shy, rough, unloved, lonely and not even reckoned with. To measure yourself by others is not wise.
So to whom do you compare yourself? No one!!!
You learn to see yourself as God made you with your own strength & weaknesses and work hard to develop your strength & weaknesses.
Everytime you compare yourself to others, you kill a piece of who you are.
We can’t be ourselves if we don’t know ourselves and we can’t know ourselves if all we know about who we are is in comparison to others. The tendency to compare ourselves to others is as human as any other emotion. Undoubtedly, I’m not alone in my experience!
There is an infinite number of categories upon which we can compare ourselves and an almost infinite number of people to compare ourselves to. Once you begin down that road, there’s never an end. Comparing starts with the little things and then to the big things. From houses, cars, education, career, power, body structure, images (yes!!!), smartphones, clothes, vacations, food, music, spouse, pets, golf clubs, children, cocktails, health, hair, handbags, social media and oh…the list is so endless.
Now the question is does the comparing mind bring happiness?
After reflecting on this question, I’ve come to realize that:
1. No matter how hard you try to manage your personal life, someone will always have more than you.
2. The comparisons you are making are probably not even fair to yourself. I’m guilty of this myself – Just imagine me comparing myself to Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gate (I can picture you shaking your head…smiles) but to be honest I’m done doing that.
3. It’s hard to compare in the criteria that really matters. Things such as: Is this person a good human being? Are they happy? Are they loving parents? …siblings? …sons & daughters? Is the world a better place because they are here? But ironically, Its very hard for one person to be able to make any sort of fair judgment on another
person anyway precisely because we don’t know the other person’s journey. The comparing mind is futile.
I must attest to the fact that it is hard to avoid comparison especially when heroes, leaders and role models often inspire us with their amazing courage, skills, dedication and luck. You become motivated and say to yourself
“If he/she can do it, so can I!”
That’s awesome, but don’t let this other person become your obsession. Instead, find your own truth, on your own path and don’t compare other people’s journey with yours. Constant comparison with others tend to lower your self-esteem and make you feel bad about yourself. The guidelines below will help a lot…
1. Become intimately aware of your own successes:
You have everything you need to accomplish good in your little section of the world. With that opportunity squarely in front of you, become intimately aware of your past successes and even the ones coming your way. And find motivation in them to keep pressing for more.
2. Pursue the greater things in life:
Some of the greatest treasures in this world are hidden from sight: humility, selflessness, generosity, love, empathy. Among these higher pursuits, there is no measurement. Desire them above everything.
3. Compete less, Appreciate more:
There may be times when competition is appreciated but life is not one of them. The first and most important step in overcoming the habit of competition is to routinely appreciate and compliment the contribution of others.
4. Always remind yourself “Nobody is perfect”:
While focusing on the negatives is rarely as helpful as focusing on the positives, there is important space to be found remembering that nobody is perfect and nobody is living a painless life. Triumph requires an obstacle to be overcome. And everybody is suffering through their own, whether you are close enough to know it or not.
5. Take a walk:
As lame as it may seem to some people, its very helpful. Next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others, get up and change your surroundings. Go for a walk..even if only to the other side of the room. Allow the change in your surroundings to prompt change in your thinking.
6. Find Inspiration without comparison:
Comparing our lives with others is not wise but finding inspiration and learning from others is entirely wise. Work hard to learn the difference. Humbly ask questions of the people you admire or read biographies as inspiration. But if comparison is a consistent tendency in your life, notice which attitude prompt positive change and which result in negative influence.
7. If you need to compare, compare with yourself:
We ought to strive to be the best possible versions of ourselves – not only for our own selves, but for the benefit and contribution we can offer to others. With so many negative effects inherent in comparison, it is a shame we ever take part in it. But the struggle is real for most of us. Fortunately, it does not need to be. And the freedom found in comparing less is entirely worth the effort.
8. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude:
We’ve all heard the sayings “be thankful someone always has it way worse than we do or it could be worse”. I think practicing gratitude from the place of comparison is not healthy for us. I know for sure, that practicing gratitude from this place of comparison, especially when coping with anxiety or depression, only makes it worse.
Practicing gratitude from comparison leaves me asking myself, “Why can’t I just be happy?” It is true, comparison is the thief of joy, really of all. Check your intentions as you practice your gratitude, better yet as you live your life. Live wholehearted from the lens of a new perspective but not in the darkness of comparison. I promise you will feel the difference immediately. I promise your ever upward will come into full focus for you to walk into and fully embrace. Gratitude always focus us to recognize the good things we already have in our world.
When you become the best “you” that you can be, you will be a success!!!