You are scrolling through Instagram. And you see yet another person living his dream life, wearing luxurious clothes, and traveling the world with beautiful women.
You are in the gym going through your standard exercise routine and you see someone with the body you want.
You scroll through Facebook on Friday night, tired and bored after a hard day’s work, and you see a friend of a friend who is having the time of his life at a party and posting pictures of it.
Comparing yourself to others does not feel good. And you know it. But you still find yourself doing it and feeling less happy than you could. What makes this worse is that there are hundreds of things you can measure yourself against where someone has you beat, the Internet bombards with you with comparison temptation, and always a higher level to get to. Even when you reach a really high level of wealth, achievement, or skill, you can still feel horrible because you are comparing yourself to those even better than you.
In this episode of Will’s Personal Development Podcast, we will discuss how to achieve mastery of comparison. A common phrase used in America is, “Keeping up with the Jones.” It refers to a constant competition to keep up with the possessions and achievements with neighbors you don’t even like. We’ll talk about conquering this.
Prepare to learn:
- why people compare themselves to others.
- why we should not compare ourselves with others.
- why comparing yourself to others can lead to anxiety and depression.
- how to have the self-confidence so you do not compare yourself to others.
Please enjoy the episode:
Here is a summary of some of the big points in the podcast for those who are busy:
- Realize it’s a never-ending comparison battle if you let it. When it comes to materialistic or superficial achievements like money, fame, sex, or trophies, there is always someone with more to compare yourself to.
- The Internet and social media can be toxic for your mental health because of the constant temptations of comparison on there. Often, it is a curation of someone’s Photoshopped, artificially crafted highlights of his or her life, but we misinterpret it as their typical day-to-day life. Influencers won’t tell you about this even if they know it’s true because they want you to follow them.
- Young women have a natural tendency to showcase and curate their lives on social media. It may be a genetic tendency to attract mates.
- I learned a technique from Dan Sullivan, a strategic coach who has coached thousands of entrepreneurs. He found that most entrepreneurs only look forward and therefore always feel unhappy because their horizon keeps moving up. Instead, compare yourself to your past. Acknowledge and celebrate how far you have come.
- As Warren Buffett says, “Live your life by an inner scorecard.” What he means is most people live by an “outer scorecard.” They would rather have others think they have achieved a lot when they really haven’t. Ask yourself if you would rather be the world’s greatest lover, but have everyone think you’re the worst… or the world’s worst lover and have everyone think you’re the best?
Here is the question of the day for you: Have you ever struggled with comparison and what has worked best with dealing with it? Please let me know in the comments.
- Happiness practices you can get started with immediately.
- How to deal with and defeat perfectionism.
- Self-esteem and Self-love-building practices.
- The Red Queen Blog Post (will be released January 2017).
Worthwhile Comparison Quotes
I thought I would leave you with some useful quotes on comparing yourself to others from successful people:
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
― Mark Twain, famed writer
“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.”
― Marcus Aurelius,
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” ―Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher
“Your Highest Self only wants you to be at peace. It does not judge, compare, or demand that you defeat anyone or be better than anyone.”
―Wayne Dyer, Self-Help Guru
“I generally find that comparison is the fast track to unhappiness. No one ever compares themselves to someone else and comes out even. Nine times out of ten, we compare ourselves to people who are somehow better than us and end up feeling more inadequate.”
―Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup Series author
“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
―Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness