Why Comparing Yourself to Others is Harmful to You

Why are we constantly trying to weight our self-worth and add a currency to it? Why do we place ourselves on a scale opposed to others attempting to win in one dimension of life or the other?

Have you heard she got promoted again? Come on… If my parents were so rich like hers I would also be at that level by now.

He has just posted a new picture from another exotic island…what am I doing with my life?

Surely it pampers our self-esteem to meet an old friend and discover he is at a career level where we were 5 years ago, or to surround ourselves with people who don’t remind us of the things we are too scared to do. But if we need to judge them just to feel better for a minute it might not be good for our relationships. Besides, as we know, if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. You stopped learning.

And what happens if we are surrounded by success stories? We tend to come up with genius assumptions of the praised people’s life. They are older, richer, born in the right place or they were just lucky. Getting worse, they must have bribed or slept with the director/investor. We often feel the pressure of an ideal scenario about where we should be in life at a certain age, and which turns into the little devil in our head generating ugly thoughts of others.

Women go through a time of identity shift today joggling between roles and trying to fulfill a myriad of expectations. While new doors open for them to choose between career and lifestyle options, they still try to be good enough for people with various ideas about how they should live and make decisions. Full-time mums and women keeping their career in focus are pointing fingers at each other, and mumpreneurs face green eyes in and out of office. This might be the scariest barrier keeping the emerging gender back from cooperation in order to balance out the so much wanted equality.

Men are no different though in terms of judging each other. They might be less frustrated by the pursuit of perfection advertised by the beauty industry, but the battle for societal status keeps them in the habit of comparison. They might have developed a thick skin to bear criticism but they are also the ones who often surpass their feelings and hide their insecurity from the world and from themselves.

The competing nature of humans overall makes us strive for the better and can be a strong drive for self-improvement. However, I do think that today’s world needs more people with a healthy self-esteem and a cooperative attitude.

Mindfulness is knowing: You are not more and not less. You are not your CV, your social media updates, your marital status, your profession or your confection size. You are good as you are. Every decision you made in life has given you great experiences or great lessons.

We all have different values and we are all learning. So the next time you feel the bitter taste of jealousy, recognize the feeling. Remind yourself that you don’t have to be better than anyone on this planet other than the person you were yesterday. Ask yourself what is that quality you saw in someone else that made you think, I wish I would be like that person. Is it something you are struggling with? Is it something that lies on your to-do-list since forever or among your resolutions every year? What can you do today to move closer to it?

When the distance between your desired and actual self scares you, don’t look for mistakes to pull down the other person. Ask yourself instead: How can I get there?

We all have different stories. Appreciate people for their smallest achievements and gain inspiration from the ones who are ahead of you, regardless of their age or background.

We all feel jealous and scared of judgement sometimes, and noone expects you to be Mother Teresa or the fairy with a magic wand and an ever peaceful smile on her face. But being conscious about your feelings and the challenges that, perhaps, make you insecure can really make a shift in the way you build and maintain relationships in your life.

 

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