We almost all suffer from the trap of comparing ourselves to those who appear to “have it better” than us – whether it’s a good friend, family member, or some random person you follow on Instagram – the temptation to compare is always there. To make matters worse, sometimes we even reach their level of success (or whatever it is we are comparing ourselves to) and quickly “level up” to the next person that has it better.
One of the biggest problems with comparing ourselves to others is that we are looking at their life “highlights” on social media to our own entire life details – truthfully, that’s not a fair comparison. Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t compare yourself to others…but only compare to your previous self (that’s where the true value is!).
1. It won’t stop
You keep telling yourself that once you reach where your friend is at then you’ll be happy. But once you get there, you soon realize there are people above them that have it even better – and you naturally want that. This vicious cycle will continue for the rest of your life. Yes, it sounds crazy reading it, but you will easily fall into the comparison trap over and over again. Best to stop it now.
2. It distracts you
Instead of putting all of your focus into improving your own life, you are indulging yourself in looking at what someone else is doing (with out all of the details). Take all of the time you normally spend envying others and put it directly into your own life goals. You’ll surprise yourself with what you are able to accomplish.
3. It’s a buzz kill
By comparing yourself to someone else you are inherently going to find what is wrong with you, but right with them. What a terrible way to live life. If there is a quality of a friend or family that you admire and would like to see in yourself, that’s fine, but only if you are going to put in the effort to get there.
4. You don’t know the details
So you are comparing yourself to a friend from college who seems to have climbed the corporate ladder to the top – and you can’t help but feel inadequate because they have achieved more “success” than you in the same amount of time. You just see the end result though – what you don’t see is the 100+ hour work weeks, relationship failures, and the physical toll that his body has taken from eating poorly and not working out to get there. It’s not fair to yourself to compare one aspect of someone else’s life to yours – who knows, they may be envious of the wonderful family you have built or that you are in great physical shape.
5. It puts YOU against THEM
Comparison has an uncanny way of leading to jealousy – one of the worst traits in my opinion. When you are jealous of someone else it’s difficult to be happy for them when they reach their own goals. If you can’t be happy for a friend when they are happy…well, what kind of friend are you!?