You make goals, meticulously plan out the action steps, and work hard for them. And finally, you do achieve your goals. Watching your hard work pay off gives you so much happiness. You feel immensely proud of yourself.
Until you come across a friend's post on Facebook, celebrating a milestone that you're yet to achieve.
You immediately get a sinking feeling in your stomach. Your achievements seem completely insignificant now. You start doubting yourself and wondering if you can ever match up to your peers.
That's the thing about comparison.
You could be completely happy with yourself, doing your thing, satisfied in life, but the moment you compare yourself to someone else, you become envious and slip into despair.
You overlook all the hard work you have done and obsess over things you don't have yet.
Like all emotions, envy is normal. But it's important not to let the feelings of resentment take over. Constant comparison robs you of your inner peace and happiness.
When you find yourself feeling envious of other people, remind yourself the following:
1. You can only control yourself.
You only have control over your thoughts, actions, and response to the circumstances you face in your life. When you direct your energy towards these, you are bound to get a favorable outcome.
On the other hand, what will you get out of constantly comparing yourself to others? You have no control over other people's decisions.
They won't just abandon their goals and desires because you're envious of them. They are working towards creating happiness in their lives, just like you are.
Why spend so much energy on something you can't do anything about?
By comparing your life to others and harboring envy, you end up hating life.
There's only so much time in a day. If you spend your time measuring yourself against others and dwelling on negative emotions, you won't have enough time to do things that actually bring you fulfillment.
Over time, such bad days will add up and you will remain dissatisfied in life.
We only get one shot at life. Do not waste your time in endless comparison.
2. Your life is completely your responsibility.
External circumstances and people do influence your decisions, but it's ultimately YOUR decision.
Often when we compare ourselves to others and feel envious, we tend to focus on the unfairness of the situation, e.g. "they only succeeded because they had more resources, connections and got a head start."
We try to justify the feelings we are experiencing.
We try to blame our circumstances, luck, or other people.
Yes, some things are unfair in life, but don't let this thought disempower you.
Some people do have more advantages and resources than others. But on the other hand, many people have also been able to achieve success without any such privileges.
If you focus on things you can change, you will realize you have more than enough resources to create meaningful change in your life.
Breaking out of a victim mentality can mean the difference between endless misery and the possibility of positive change.
Complaining about unfairness won't make things fair. It will only distract you from things you can change for the better.
You are capable of both destroying and lifting yourself.
If you feel you are not where you're meant to be, remember that things are always changing. You can always get better. The opportunity with the potential to completely transform your life might be around the corner.
And you're going to miss it if you spend all your time scrolling through someone else's Facebook profile.
You don't have to remain stuck in one place forever. With the right mindset, you can elevate your life.
3. Everybody's journey is different.
You may not know everything about the other person's journey.
They are not you. You should only measure your progress with where you were yesterday. Everyone has different views of life, perceptions, and experiences. Where they are in their journey is not relevant to you.
We all have our unique path to follow.
You may not exactly have what someone else has, but you do have other things going well in your life.
You work so hard to create a beautiful life for yourself. Appreciate it and be proud of how far you've come.
4. Nobody has a perfect life.
When you compare yourself to others, you only measure their highlight reels against your problems.
Remember that everybody has to face numerous challenges throughout their lives. Someone's life may seem perfect on the outside, but it does not mean they never have to deal with problems or suffer in any way.
Internalizing this fact can help you be more empathetic towards others. Empathy decreases negativity and allows you to strengthen your relationship with other people.
5. There is enough to go around.
There is enough success for everyone.
Think of other people's success as evidence that you can also get what you want. Be inspired by their journey. Don't hesitate to be genuinely happy for others.
Remember this when you feel threatened by other people's accomplishments. Just because someone else has achieved success, doesn't mean that you cannot.
Focus on yourself, be happy for yourself as well as others. Help others, try to make the world a little better.
Also, don't cling to society's definition of success.
The feelings of resentment often arise from attaching your worth to your achievements. It's important to celebrate your achievements but basing your worth on your achievements is a no-no.
If the only reason you want achievements is to feel valuable, you will end up feeling empty inside, even after achieving whatever you desired.
At any given point in your life, there will always be someone who has something you don't have. It's easy to feel inadequate when you compare your achievements to other people and always worry about "showing" everyone you have it all.
The bottom line is constant comparison prevents you from realizing your true worth.
You end up stuck in the vicious cycle of comparison. You measure your worth by comparing yourself to others, feel inadequate, and as a result your self-esteem drops. And then you seek outside approval to define yourself. The cycle continues and you keep inviting misery into your life.
We all compare ourselves to others from time to time. It's a natural reaction. The problem arises when you start ruminating over your perceived inadequacies and ignoring all the good things in your life.
Stop being so hard on yourself.
Break out of the comparison trap and cultivate choices that point you towards fulfilling experiences.
August 8, 2022
August 6, 2022