10 Life-Changing Benefits You Experience When You Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
It’s human nature to compare ourselves to one another. Add social media to the mix and you pour gasoline onto an emotional fire.
No one’s perfect. You’ll inevitably compare yourself to others from time to time, but if you reduce your need to compare your real life with other people’s curated ones, you’ll experience many life changing benefits.
1. You become more grateful
Comparing ourselves to other people makes us think about the things we don’t have, which is a great way to cause suffering. When you focus on yourself you’ll realize that your life isn’t so bad after all and that you have a lot of things to be grateful for. In my career, I’ve found many people look up to me and consider me accomplished when often times I don’t feel that way about myself at all. It’s all relative. Some people have more and have accomplished more than you. But the same can be said for yourself compared to others. Stop playing the game altogether.
2. You escape the drama
We use gossip as a crutch to protect ourselves from our own feelings of inadequacy. Our envy causes us to tear each other down with snarky comments and by spreading rumors, which may or may not be true. When you lose the need to compare yourself with other people you’ll lose the need to want to comment about other people in a negative way. You’ll also develop the ability to weed out people who gossip too much because you won’t want to be in negative environments anymore.
3. You’re able to live in the present moment
You’ve been there. You spot someone online who’s accomplished something you want. You project yourself into the future — picturing yourself in similar shoes.
Except, when you always live for the future, you never experience what life has to offer right now.
The future isn’t real. It’s something we create in our imagination. Paradoxically, to create the future you want you have to act in the present. Remember, those you compare yourself to started somewhere — often humble beginnings — and it’s your job to humble yourself and do the same.
4. You shed your assumptions
When we compare ourselves to other people we only see the surface elements of their lives. We only see what they want us to see. We assume because someone lives in a nice house or drives a fancy car they’re happy when in reality we all have problems regardless of our station in life. You’ll see the world for what it truly is. Your perceptions will change and you’ll realize that the only person who determines the quality of your life is you.
5. You become more motivated
Comparing yourself to others drains your energy — literally. Anytime you stress yourself over something — especially something you don’t have — your body releases chemicals like cortisol that increase fatigue and irritability.
When you reduce your envy levels, you’ll have more motivation to focus on the things that you’re trying to accomplish because you’re not worried about what other people are doing. When you compare yourselves to people that you consider more successful than you, what they’ve achieved seems so daunting that it paralyzes you. You’re afraid to even try because it looks so difficult. Focusing only on what you need to do will help you to create momentum in your life.
6. You will take your time
I used to wonder how the writers I admired reached their goals. I know now it was simply a matter of time. When aspiring writers ask me for guidance, I just want to embed this idea in their mind — it’ll happen, just be patient, don’t beat yourself up throughout the entire process.
Because, of course, those are the things I did to myself and still do from time to time.
The less you compare yourself to others, the more you’ll run your race at your own pace. You won’t feel rushed to reach a certain level of success based on what you’ve seen someone else do. We’re all different. We learn and perform in ways that are unique to us. You’ll make progress on your own terms based on the amount of effort you decide you’re capable of.
7. You will build self-confidence
No matter how smart, beautiful, in-shape, and talented you are, you can find a way to make yourself miserable by comparing yourselves to the best of the best of the best.
It’s ok to be pretty good until you get great at something — in fact, this is the real recipe for success.
When you focus on yourself the things that make you unique and valuable, you will build a level of confidence that you’ve never had before. The best thing about confidence is that it builds on itself. It will increase slowly, until one day you radiate it.
8. You won’t lose sight of your why
I once read a quote that makes so much sense to me:
How you make your money matters just as much as the amount.
Chasing after goals because someone else does them will cause you to fail. You know nothing about their motivations and motivation from the external never works. You have to have your own reasons for wanting to do something.
When comparing ourselves to others we may start to chase after ideas of success that are based on the opinions of other people and not on what we’re truly seeking from life. When you focus on yourself you are able to focus on the most important aspect of what you’re trying to accomplish — the reason why you want to do it in the first place. Action without purpose is meaningless. Think deeply about why you do what you do. That’s where you’ll find the truth.
9. You will get where you want to go
We all have a destination in life, but sometimes we lose sight of it because we get caught up in other people’s paths. Others distract us and after a while, we become so focused on them that we become stuck in our own path. If you’re focused, diligent, and committed, you’ll make it. The focus is more important than effort. A distracted, half-hearted effort won’t get you want you to want. It’s going to take a laser-sharp focus combined with the relentless effort you reach your destination. This can only be done when you eliminate distractions in your life — especially coveting other people’s success.
10. You’ll be happy
Happiness happens when your reality matches your expectations. Comparing yourself to other people distorts both your own reality and your expectations making for a cocktail of sadness.
Happiness comes from gratitude. It also comes from living in the present moment and enjoying your life while it happens. It comes from reducing the noise in your life. It comes from being motivated, patient, and confident. It comes from knowing yourself and having a deep sense of purpose. It also comes from doing all of the things you’ve set out to do. It doesn’t come from outside of you and it definitely doesn’t come by trying to be someone else.