Comparison To What?
Growing up, I was always told , “Shaniequa, never compare yourself to others. It makes you either vain or bitter.” It was good advice but, like all good advice, far easier said than done.
Most of us mere mortals can be a bit insecure in our own worth and can, at times, succumb to our ego’s thirst for affirmation. It drives us to look around us—usually to those we consider our peers—for a frame of reference to assess how well we’re doing in our work, wealth, social status, relationships and life. Psychologists have even given it a name: Social Comparison Theory.
I’m not accomplished enough. I’m not attractive enough. I’m not disciplined enough. I’m not successful enough. I’m not smart enough.I’m not wealthy enough. I’m not worthy enough. I’m not _____ enough, at this point you can fill in the blank!
When you’re constantly comparing yourself with others, it leaves you on a “comparison treadmill.” The problem is that this treadmill has only one setting, and that is to keep ratcheting up the speed so that no matter how hard you push yourself, it’s never enough.
But here’s the truth: The moment you stop comparing yourself, you win!
If how you feel about yourself is determined by how you rate yourself against others, then you’ll never feel good for very long. There will always be someone doing better than you on some measure. Always.
Ironically, the moment you stop comparing, you win. Because as long as you think winning in life is about being better or having more than others, your comparisons hold your happiness hostage.
Comparing yourself to others is a race you can never win.
Which begs the question: How can you get off the treadmill of “negative comparisons” and redirect your attention from beating up on yourself to bettering your future? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Recognize your biases.
Most people tend to compare their weaknesses with others’ strengths; their insides with others’outsides; what they haven’t accomplished with what others have (including people who have a huge head start on you!); and what they don’t have with what other people do!
So whenever you notice yourself comparing (a vital first step), take a moment to remind yourself that you are good enough just as you are, even if you don’t have something you see in those around you (business success, academic credentials, to-die-for home, hot body, celebrity social life or high-achieving kids). They are very likely looking at something you have or do well, and wishing they did, too.
2. Avoid your triggers.
A growing body of research has shown that social media networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, can trigger depression as people compare their lives with those of their increasingly expansive online network of “friends.” But just as we can add filters to the photos we post, most of us filter the reality we share by highlighting the good and leaving out the not-so-pretty parts. So if scrolling down your Facebook feed only makes you feel miserable about yourself, then do yourself a really big favor and log off. Better still, take a social media sabbatical. You might find it incredibly liberating.
3. Focus on your own progress.
Research shows the happiest people aren’t those who only make positive comparisons with others. They are those who don’t make any. Instead, they focus their efforts on improving themselves. Just imagine the difference it would make if you re-channeled all the energy you’ve expended comparing yourself with bettering yourself. You are your ultimate frame of reference, so track yourself against yourself. Are you fitter than you used to be? Are you budgeting better than you used to? Are you spending more time doing things you enjoy than you used to? Are you making progress toward your goals?
The Bottom Line!
As I access time is moving very rapid and the new year is in our reach, literally a matter of weeks. The question is have you spent so much time in comparing your progress, comparing your visions, comparing your goals that you never accomplished anything? If your answer was yes well let's fix this Right Now. Pull out that notebook and right now I want you to begin to write those things you desire and I want you to look at what you have in you to get this accomplished. What does this mean? This means that we all have a common focus; the end result called "success", however the path to this success may very well look and be different for each of us. Struggling with this process, finding the what that is inside of you to lead to the path your destined to. Let's talk further RIGHT NOW....... jump on over to zurielleadership.com and let's figure this thing out!