We’ve all compared our test scores to that of our friend’s, compared our abilities to those of our siblings’, compared our lives to those on social media. The list can go on and on and on.
Although comparing ourselves to others can be useful in giving us the motivation to push ourselves to become our best selves, excessive comparison may deteriorate our self esteem and yield no positive results. It can make us feel unconfident and insecure in our abilities, make less of our accomplishments, and sometimes even unexpectedly lash out in anger and hostility to those around us. We all know that excessive comparison can be toxic, yet sometimes, we just can’t help it – we can’t stop ourselves from comparing ourselves to those around us.
I’m speaking from experience here: I was a person who used to compare every aspect of my life to that of friends, peers, and even strangers. I set standards of “good” or “bad” and measured myself to those around me in accordance to that standard. When I thought of some aspect of me as “bad,” I immediately beat myself up, and because I didn’t give myself time or energy to grow and fix that part of myself to become “good,” I’d notice that exact part of me that I labeled “bad” the next time around. Then, the cycle would just rinse and repeat, and I’d just be stuck in a dark rut filled with negative emotions.
During that time, my life was not my own – others’ perceptions of myself defined me, and others’ expectations for me became my expectations for myself. I heavily relied on the judgment of others and was generally conscious of how friends and family viewed me. But now, I’ve learned that this reliance on others is extremely harmful to my mental health and growth. So, through this blogpost, I want to share some tips on how to refrain from excessive comparison and live as your true self.
Set clear, definite goals for yourself
If you don’t know what you want, then you have no choice but to follow the flow of those around you; you have no choice but to live a life that is not yours. So, the first step is to find out what it is that you like, feel, and want for yourself. It can be a tough process of self-exploration, but it’ll be worth it in the end because, after you’ve identified what is the life that you want, then you can start to live as your true self. This allows you to stop comparing yourself to others because your goals will be different from most of the people around you. You can’t compare apples to oranges, so you won’t be able to compare yourself to others if your goals are fundamentally different from theirs.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
Then you might say, “well, what if my goals are really common and similar to those of others? Like getting good grades, going to a decent school, and landing a stable job at a reputable company?” That’s when knowing your strengths and weaknesses comes into play. Ask yourself, “what are the things that I’m good at? What are the things I’m bad at?” If you don’t know, then try new stuff: engage in new extracurriculars, get a job, meet new people and learn from your behavior and interactions in those new environments. After doing all that and identifying your strengths and weaknesses, you can now make a plan on how exactly you are going to achieve your goals and work towards bettering yourself.
Give Others The Benefit Of The Doubt
Well even to that you can say, “what if I have so many weaknesses and not many strengths? Others around me look like they’re good at everything while I’m good at nothing.” If this is the case, then first of all, do not get discouraged. Second, give them the benefit of the doubt. Have you known them your whole entire life and watched them every second of the day? Do you know the exact amount of time and effort that they have spent to better themselves? You don’t know their life story, so do not automatically assume that you cannot be like them. With the right amount of effort, you’ll be able to accomplish your dreams and become the person you always wanted to be.
We all know that excessive comparison is bad, but sometimes, we aren’t really able to stop ourselves from doing it. But I hope that these tips help you in becoming more focused on yourself and your journey of self-improvement rather than focusing on others around you. I hope that these tips help you to own your life and live it in the exact way that you want to. You only live once – might as well make it worth it by living as your true self 🙂