To Top

Your Mind Wants You to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Mark Twain once said: “Comparison is the death of joy” and he knew what he was saying. Since the dawn of the human race, we’ve been comparing ourselves to one another, and by doing so, destroying our self-confidence. Even though we learn, as the years pass by, to do it less, it rarely goes away completely because there is an infinite number of things that can be comparable.

Here are some important things your mind wants you to remember.

A comparison is bad for you

When we compare ourselves to others, we typically look at the bad things and think how someone else has it better than you, making you envious of something you too are probably doing great but aren’t self-confident enough to realize. Has this ever happened to you?

A comparison is never fair 

This is because we are all individuals with our own, personal characteristics.We all have our unique abilities, talents, and strengths but because no two people are the same, it’s pointless and nerve-racking to compare one individual to another.

 “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein 

 A comparison more often than not results in resentment

Not only towards others but also towards ourselves, and why would anyone do that to themselves?

The negative and harmful sides to comparison are obvious. So the question now is how to get rid of this toxic habit?

 Think about where your comparative habits come from

Simply start paying more attention to yourself. A comparison is often subconscious, and we don’t know we’re doing it at first. So, get to know yourself and your insecurities a little better. That will help you realize why you have the need to compare and it will become easier to break the habit.

 Be aware of your successes and accept them

No matter if you’re a student, office manager, doctor, stay-at-home-mom, teacher, writer, painter or a musician, you need to know you’re good at what you’re doing. Probably even great. Of course, there is always room for improvement but just because something can be better doesn’t mean you aren’t already pretty good. And even if you fail, get up and dust off, learn from your mistakes and let them motivate you to do better in the future.

 Stop competing when it’s unnecessary

Of course, competition is an everyday occurrence; sometimes it’s appropriate, but don’t do it always. Everyone wants to be the best at everything, but you need to accept that it’s impossible. There are situations in which it’s not important to win. For instance, why must you be the best student in class when it’s enough to have a good grade and not suffer trying to achieve a difficult and pointless goal?

 Avoid media, such as TV shows, movies, and magazines that show ‘ideal’ images

If you expose yourself to these things for too long, you will certainly start comparing yourself to a seemingly perfect actor, model, or athlete forgetting in the process that these images are manipulated in a way to show a better side of someone, which is most probably photoshopped.

 Find inspiration in other people’s successes

Instead of comparing someone else’s success to your own and being envious, why not try asking that successful person how they got to be where they are and following them in their footsteps?

 If you’re idolizing someone, realize that they are far from perfect

When you idolize, you tend to look at only the good qualities, the ones you admire and are blind to the negative ones. Try to understand that this person, even though he is good at something, is still a flawed human being. Because nobody can be perfect, right?

 In the end, if you must compare…

You should only compare yourself to your own self! Of course, we should all strive to be the best versions of ourselves we can possibly, and we will more likely achieve that by comparing ourselves to our old selves. Try to be better than you were yesterday – walk that extra mile and be proud that you’re doing better than the day before. Work hard, either physically, emotionally or mentally, depending on what your goal is and stay away from interpersonal comparisons.

More in Mental Health