I compare myself to others. Bare with me. I say this because I know many people will turn their heads saying comparison is never good. STOP comparing yourself to others. While I get that point of view, I firmly believe that comparison can be a great thing.
I compare myself to many people on a daily basis. Am I happy? I would say so. Am I content with my life? I would say so. Do I make unhealthy decisions based on these comparisons? Definitely Not. Allow me to share my perspective with you.
Comparison is Inevitable
Everyone compares themselves to others because we live in a social environment. If you aren’t comparing yourself to people you know then you might be comparing yourself to someone on the cover of a magazine or in your favorite TV Show. This is inevitable. I remember getting sucked into the ‘I never compare myself to others narrative” but it simply wasn’t true. It took me some time to realize that my days were filled with constant comparisons and I’ve always been this way.
I can remember when I first started University and noticed that many ladies in my sorority were apart of the Honors society. They had beautiful shirts and always walked to meetings together. I also remember saying Wow, one day I want to be apart of the honors society. The next day, congratulated one of my sorority sisters then I inquired of the GPA requirements, compared it to where mine was and where it needed to be. I then decided to work hard towards that goal. By my second year in University, I was not only on the honors society for my hall but I was on the honors society for my faculty. I ‘super’ exceeded my Goal.
Even, when I started Blogging. I compared myself to many bloggers. I admired their passion, hustle and even their growth. I compared myself to them and used it to improve my own blog.
What I do
- I compare the structure of their blogs to mine. I use the structure as a goal standard and work towards it.
- I compare their hustle to mine. Am I putting in enough time into my blog’s development?
- I compare their strategies to mine. Am I using the right strategies to drive traffic?
- I compare for self-evaluation. Where am I? and How do I get to where I need to be?
What I don’t do
- I do not compare their place in their journey to mine. So I would never say she is making it and I’m not. It’s all a process and I trust the process.
- I never think about ‘ she just started’ and ‘I’ve been doing it longer’. Again, each process is different.
- I never get jealous. ( This is really where the problem is )
- I never compare for self-esteem.
Self Evaluation vs Self-Esteem
Comparison is healthy when you use it to develop yourself and your passions by evaluating, for instance, the items under What I do. It becomes unhealthy when you use it to boost or lower yourself, for instance, the items under What I don’t do.
If you are comparing yourself and measuring up your self-worth then it is unhealthy. It is also unhealthy when jealousy comes into play. When you wish for things you don’t have without actively working towards them. It is also unhealthy when you compare their end to your beginning.
Its all a matter of mindset. Compare to evaluate where you are never to envy.
Those are negative emotions that will not help to better your life.
My advice would be:
- think positive thoughts and never negative ones such as envy
- trust your process
- be happy and proud of others
- Never use comparisons for self-esteem- ELIMINATE
- She is an author and I want to be an author but my work is not good enough. I wish I was like that but -inserts negativity-. She is a successful author and I am not. I am not growing.
- use comparisons only to evaluate or research – ADD
- She is an author and I aspire to be an author. Research: How do I become an author? What steps should I take? How can I improve my writing? Say: I am on my way, I am doing the work. I am focused on my own lane.
When Comparing yourself to Others is a Great Thing- Backed by theory?
Many moons ago, A psychologist by the name of Leon Festinger coined the Social Comparison Theory. This theory postulated that people examined how they measured up to others in order to assess their self. The theorist believed that this was done to self motivate and to be used as a basis (evaluation) for self-improvement.
Now, you can read more on the theory to further understand his perspective. From my stance, humans will always compare themselves so the best thing is to change your mindset. Eliminate negative thoughts and negative emotions and replace them with positive vibes, a spirit of corporation, gratitude and being proud and happy for others. With this, comparisons will always be a great thing.
Do you agree? what are your thoughts?