You vs. Others
Life is about creating happiness and finding ways to repel negativity. The improvements you make every day have a big impact on your ability to live a great life.
Simple things, such as tweaking your diet, exercising more and reading books, make a difference in your personal development.
Furthermore, recognizing growth and celebrating accomplishments are two of the best feelings on earth. The work it took to get to that point is validated and the moment it produced feels glorious.
But there’s one concept that can take away from it with a sense of depreciation: comparing yourself to others.
This should be a well-known fact, but if not, listen up. Comparing your progress, your goals, and your results to that of others is meaningless. Everyone goes up or down at their own pace, and everyone has a different perspective when it comes to success.
A comparison between you and somebody else should hold no weight. That person is on their own journey and has their own unique set of circumstances.
Instead, focus on what you can control and the things that happen to you. That’s what matters most short term and long term. Take care of you and the rest takes care of itself.
Whenever you find yourself comparing your progress or situation to someone else’s, take a step back and analyze the thought.
If you can take positivity and motivation from it, go for it. Sometimes, when you see somebody else accomplish a goal similar to yours, there’s added motivation and urgency that can be found to help you achieve it.
The trouble lies when you start translating these feelings into thoughts of failure and doubt.
One example that occurs frequently is when someone puts in the work to lose weight and is successful – to a certain degree.
Let’s say you weighed 200 pounds, and in the span of six months, you lost 20 and got down to 180 pounds on the scale. This is a huge accomplishment and should be celebrated, regardless of what the end goal is. The fact is, six months ago, you were worse off than you are now, and the hard work you put in got you to a better place. You may want to drop 10 more pounds, but for now, it’s a job well done.
One way to ruin the moment is thinking about how your friend weighs 165 and that’s your goal. Thoughts like, “Yeah, I’ve made some progress, but I don’t look like so and so. Why can’t I look like that now?” are toxic and damaging to your mindset. Not only that, but they can also halt your progress and bring you right back where you started.
You can acknowledge that you’re not quite where you want to be yet, while also appreciating that what you have done the past six months has made life better. Don’t look at other people; look at yourself.
Allowing yourself to differentiate between what you and someone else have done stunts your peace of mind. If more time was spent on maintaining momentum and growth, and less on the anxiety associated with comparison, your mental health would flourish in accordance with your goals being accomplished.
Comparing yourself to others may also lead to unnecessary feelings of resentment.
It can be as simple as walking down the street and noticing a person wearing an outfit that you wish you had. Rather than thinking, “I wish I had those clothes; I need to look like that,” you should express gratitude for what you do have and feel confident in how you choose to dress.
The same goes for someone embracing you with good news. The worst thing you can do is create thoughts of jealousy as opposed to congratulating that person on their accomplishment.
Feelings of resentment and jealousy become present towards that person, which affects not only your perspective of them, but also your mood. And for what? It’s unnecessary.
Share in the good news and happiness rather than waste your energy on spinning it into what you don’t have or what you haven’t done.
Living your life in constant comparison is a recipe for disaster. Nothing will ever be enough, and any accomplishment will never bring about true happiness. Plus, everyone should take pride in being unique and having an individualistic, distinctive mindset and style.
Society often puts comparisons at the forefront, so it’s important to shrug them off as much as possible and remain focused on the things that make you better.
If everyone was solely concentrated on improving themselves and living life according to their own beliefs and standards, the world would be a better place. Be part of that change.
The Wrap Up
When you look at someone and notice they’re thriving or excited about an achievement, the first thought that comes to mind should be happiness for them rather than jealously, resentment or comparison.
The energy you send out into the world gets reciprocated back around to you. Experiencing jealousy and comparing what someone else has done to what you’ve done will produce negative vibes in your life. On the other hand, genuine happiness and appreciation for their situation will create a positive atmosphere with yourself and everyone around you.
The truth is, what other people do and don’t accomplish, or do and don’t have, has little bearing on your life. So why spend time hating on it, envying it or creating a comparison?
The only person you should try to compete against and be better than is yourself and who you were yesterday. This mindset will bring on determination and allow you to grow, all while keeping the focus on yourself and what’s in your control.
Worry about yourself and encourage others to do the same.
“Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.”
– Regina Brett