All my life, I’ve had a tendency to compare myself with the people around me. As someone who’s suffered with eating disorders, I would find friends or celebrities who are the same height, then try to find out their weight. I did this just to see how I compared to them, and most of the time, this ended in soul-crushing disappointment.
It sometimes doesn’t seem fair. You see how many friends a disrespectful person has, or how beautiful someone who doesn’t work out or wear makeup is. And then there’s you, putting in all your time and effort to have just a fraction of what they do. In the end, you may start believing there’s something wrong with you.
Is it Helpful to Compare Ourselves?
Comparison can encourage us to better ourselves which is positive and helpful. But some things like being rich or tall cannot be achieved easily and discourage us. Becoming obsessed with comparing ourselves can lead to unhappiness, and even hate. Worst of all, jealousy can lead to us bringing others down rather than raising ourselves up.
Obsession with comparison can be crippling. It can paralyze you, making you not want to try new things, or stopping you from getting involved in activities you feel you’re inadequate at. It can also be harmful to our mental health, and shatter our self-esteem.
Remember, you won’t be good at everything, and it’s useless to beat ourselves up over the things we are not. Instead, we should compare ourselves to a former version of our self. Look back a year. Is there something you’ve improved on that you can be proud of? Be at peace with where you are and how far you’ve come. It’s better to use our energy to improve ourselves, and focus on that, than to get caught up on how successful others are.“Comparison with myself brings improvement, comparison with others brings discontent.” -Betty Jamie Chung Click To Tweet
Sometimes, I still compare myself to others and get worked up over it. I’m much better at picking up on it now, which is an improvement. I compare to other blogs a lot, wondering how they’ve managed to become profitable or drive so much traffic to their site. This gives me the drive to work harder at my blog, but also leads me to grief and exhaustion when I don’t see clear progress. I always have to remind myself that I’ll get there eventually, it just takes time.
There are a couple things I’d like you to keep in mind when comparing yourself to the people around you. Remember, you are a work in progress. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to not be great at everything. Also, consider taking a step back from the people who make you feel overly jealous or inadequate. Taking a break from social media especially can help us break the chains of comparison and jealousy.
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