In this modern age of technology, it’s very easy to peak in to the lives of other people, unfortunately most of the time the life that is presented in social media is not the one in reality. Once you seen how other people live, and how “good they have it”, it’s very easy to get bummed out and slightly depressed. Comparing yourself to others is one of the worst things that you can do for your self-esteem and happiness. That’s why I decided to write an article about comparing yourself to others and the harm that it does. I will share my personal story and a bit of advice on why it’s bad to compare yourself to others and how to fix it.
I moved to England back in 2011 and in 2013 I moved to Liverpool (permanently). The first thing that I noticed here in Liverpool is how tall everybody is (even the women). The thing about me is that I’m short, 165 cm (5’5”) of pure dynamite hahaha. I used to live in London before that and work there, but the thing about London is that it’s a mix of all the world nationalities in one place, so there ware a lot of average or short people everywhere and it wasn’t so obvious to me. But when I moved up North, things were different.
Whenever I went out to the city centre, I was surrounded by all these giants everywhere, I started to get bummed out and fill bad about myself. I started to compare myself… I lost every-time. It was bad, I got to a point where I didn’t want to go out as much, because I will get sad. But what changed for me is, that I started reading books, and I really got interested in them, started to develop new hobbies and doing the things that I like. I was developing my business and I kinda forgot about all of the comparing that I was doing. It took me some time to get over it, but I did eventually. And I’m really happy that I went through all of that, because I’ve learned a ton of things and gain some life experience.
Let me share with you what I’ve learned.
Why comparing yourself to others is really bad for you:
#1 If you play the “1 up game” you will always lose.
Back in the day I used to know a few people who ware the “1 up” guys. If you did or can do something, they always reply back with “one better” and so on. It comes from insecurities. If you have something going on in your life (and I’m sure you do, we all have) – you’re in shape, you have a bit of money, your handsome, your artistic and so on, there will always be someone out there who will be more (insert statement here) than you. If you play the “1 up game” you will always lose! The only way to win is to never play the game, or if you play, do it for a bit, only for fun.
#2 “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Like the great Theodore Roosevelt has said “Comparison is the thief of joy”. If I want to compare myself with people my age and combine that with how much money they have, I can go to “Rich Kids of Instagram” and have my whole day ruined. I will see 20 year old’s or younger, who are having a lifestyle that very few people (especially their age) can afford. But what’s the point of doing that to myself? I will never have millions and millions of dollars when I was 20 years old.
Like I said with the “1 up game” there is always someone who has more than you, you will never win this game. So don’t play it at all.
#3 The definition of “success” is different for everyone.
Success is so different for everyone. Not everyone wants to be a billionaire or have private jets. Most people want relatively the same things in life. Good health, loving family, financial freedom, career that they are passionate about and to feel that they are contributing to something. That’s about it!
So when you think of that person you are comparing yourself with “has it all”. Don’t forget that you are only making an assumption, you will most likely never know what’s in hes hearth deep down and what he really wants.
So the next time you see that guy in a nice car, and you feel bad that you drive a bicycle, that guy may look at you and feel bad that he doesn’t have the looks that you have.
It’s a never-ending circle, at the end if we start co compare and envy each other, it will never stop. Because we all have something that other people want.
#4 There is just too many people on this planet.
Whenever you compare yourself, you are getting distracted. Focus on yourself not on other people. Because there is too many god damn people. Think about it, 7+ billion people on the planet. That’ s too much comparison to be made.
How to stop comparison and fix it.
#1 Be grateful for what you have
I know that this is a cliché, but it’s true. Whatever you have in life right now (especially if you live in the west) is something that people from other parts of the world can only dream of. Even if you’re not the richest, most famous or athletic person in the world, you are still doing ok. And if you focus on the things that make you happy and the things that define you, you will do well.
And I know that it’s a sickening thought that in order to make yourself appreciate what you have and make you feel happy you need to remind yourself from time to time that there are people much worse that you, but this is how life is sometimes.
#2 Set your priorities in life
I think that people get in to trouble or fall in to a routine of bad habits, because they don’t have their priorities in life set up straight. They don’t know what they want and what to focus on. The quicker you get your priorities in order the quicker you will know what your after.
Setting your life priorities is not that hard. Think about the most important things in your life. What do you care the most? Health, family, happiness, financial freedom? Pick 5-6 things and rank them, from the most important to the least important. Then focus on them. It’s that simple.
My priorities in life are as follows:
- Family / Relationships
- Career / Work
- Self – Development / Learning
- Leisure / Free time
#3 Tunnel Vision
Tunnel vision is closely related to the previous point of the life priorities. After you have set your life priorities put them in the “Tunnel Vision” that you will create. That means that you won’t really care about anything else that is not in your “tunnel vision”.
When you only care about the things in your priorities list, you will stop caring about what other people are up to, and you will focus only on you and your circle of people.
These are the things that helped me, stop comparing with other people.
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