Faithful Living,  mental health

When Comparing yourself to others is a Great Thing.

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?

37 Comments

  • Taryn

    Excellent points! I like how you reframed this topic to highlight comparing for self-evaluation vs. self-esteem. Great post!

    • Dalene Ekirapa

      ‘I compare for self evaluation, not for self esteem!’ Honestly, I’ve loved that. Coming to think of it, comparison is inevitable and if done the right away, it keeps you on track. I have done so especially in my blogging journey too.

  • Linda Voltaire

    Could not agree more! We live in a context so if we want to develop a business or ourselves we need to be able to compare and see how we are doing but also get inspiration!!! Still key to understand that there is only one YOU out there:)

  • sophiadamasceno

    This is an interesting perspective to take but I like it. So nice to hear the positives about it.

  • minimalistmiri

    These are all such wonderful points. Comparison is indeed inevitable. It always frustrated me that, as a child, I was told not to compare myself to others and vice versa. Comparison is something we all do and can be a wonderful tool to inspire and motivate us. I love that you mentioned it’s all a process and a journey; people will be in different places of their journey, and that’s where it’s important not to compare! Loved your article!

    • faithnturtles

      Thank you so very much for this comment. It is so frustrating to hear that especially because stopping isn’t something you can just do, more people need to be told to trust your process instead of don’t compare yourself.

  • cfaulkner2411

    I absolutely love the way you framed this post. There is so much to be learned by the comparing of ones work to another, and it honestly gives us something to strive towards in growing out own dreams.

  • Robin

    I think we tend to compare with others more when we were younger. As I age with a little bit more experience, I find comparing with others is kinda energy zapping. It’s our personal joy that takes center stage now.

  • Joanna

    Yes, comparing our journey to others is definitely a wrong way to compare our progress, no matter what we are measuring. I think that it’s ok to look, learn and get inspired though. I think that people compare because this is how we were raised. Just look at the school system, always a competition of who is the best, not taking in consideration that some children might be good at math whilst others at music.

  • Raven

    This is a really good perspective to have because you’re right comparison is inevitable. How you compare and if you use it constructively is the big deal. Thanks for this

  • Amy-Lynn is looking forward to spring🌷 (@amylynnwriting)

    YES! Use it as motivation and to help you set up that blueprint for how to get from where you are to where you want to be (but expect that God or whatever might have different plans, entirely).

  • Lisa Rios

    I love the quote comparison is the thief of joy – we are all beautiful in different ways and should focus on how much we are worth

  • Owen G.

    Wow, such a great content. We often think that comparison is a bad or negative thing. But situations always differs with the way we handle it.

  • Jessa B

    it’s refreshing to read a different perspective like yours! Its true, Comparison is okay as long as you use it for evaluation and research.

  • Alexandra Cook

    Comparing yourself to others is good on a right perspective. People has a diff mindset it’s a matter of how you compare yourself to others and be inspired.

  • Preet

    This is a great way to show how comparing yourself to others is not actually bad. Sometimes you need an inspiration by looking into others. Its a great perspective

  • mommysup

    Actually, I compare the blog things with other bloggers too. That’s my inspiration as well and all those beautiful blogs keep me going!

  • Nina Cochingco

    You have good points here. I love how you differentiate things, comparison that leads to inspiration is a good thing

  • Gervin Khan

    I do believe that comparing yourselves to others is a good thing because it helps us to become more motivated in what we our doing.

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