No matter which way you look at it, getting sucked into the comparison game is a lose-lose proposition. Think about it realistically: there will always be someone else to one-up you. In other words, you’re just setting up yourself for perpetual torment and disappointment. Instead of adopting such a sadistic practice, use these three tips to free yourself from this mess:
1. Use envy as inspiration
The basis of comparison lies in finding out whether what you have is better or worse than someone else’s. However, true happiness comes from discovering what you have in common with others and connecting with them. Desire often shows us what we secretly crave. The next time you feel envious towards someone, thank them and use it to craft your next goal.
2. Take note of your mental habits
According to research, while comparing yourself to people who are superior and successful can sometimes inspire and motivate you, it can also lead to feelings of inadequacy. Comparing yourself to people whom you deem superior is problematic but so is comparing yourself to those you see as being worse off. Is there something or some aspect of personality that you typically gravitate towards to when the comparing starts? Pinpointing it is the first step towards nipping it in the bud.
3. Get away from it all.
It feels liberating to take a break sometimes. In our modern high-pace-of-life world, taking a break is criminally underrated. Putting yourself in a social void can be very freeing in that it gives you absolutely nothing to compare yourself to. Take advantage of this quiet time to reflect: what is it that you really want? Is arbitrarily “being better” going to help you achieve that?
Being able to be present with our thoughts, feelings, and circumstances without judging or comparing is an important life skill. Bottom line: exist in the now and you won’t be so tempted to wish that you were someone or somewhere else.