Here’s Why You Should Be Comparing Yourself To Others

Comparing yourself to others will accelerate you to your goals when done correctly.

Picture via Instagram: Colorado-one of the first trips I took after deciding to go all in on my travel dreams.

I was a sophomore in college when Instagram launched.

At the time I had a Blackberry (*flashes back to actually having to click buttons in order to type something*) and since only iPhone users could download the app I remember being insanely jealous of my boyfriend. He and I used to scroll through the app together on his phone and take pictures, edit them with the filters and immediately start over again with another picture.

Then came the fateful day that I upgraded from my buttons to the touch keyboard. Proudly holding my iPhone 4 in hand, I don’t think I had even stepped foot out of the Apple Store before I downloaded Instagram.

At first it was all fun in games. I took my pictures, edited them and was having a ball.

Then I found the discover page and I started to find all of these people my age (19–20 years old at the time) traveling the world, building businesses, eating fancy meals and living the dream.

WTF?

I sat in my shitty dorm room with my Walmart comforter, sticky wall decals, Cup of Noodles and tried to connect the dots.

I spent days, then weeks and then years thinking: “These people obviously had something that I didn’t. Rich parents most likely. In some way they have been given an upper hand that I was never dealt.”

I graduated college and still felt jaded. They were enjoying life so much more than I was. They had way cooler experiences under their belt and they had quadruple if not more money than I owned.

About a year ago, I did something differently.

Instead of comparing my life to theirs and seeing a massive gap between the two-I looked at their lives as a resource to achieve my own dreams.

I started to study the same people that I had been following for years and took notice as to what habits they had, what books were on the coffee table behind them in their pictures, how their websites were set up and any detail that gave me a hint as to how they had become successful.

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In hindsight, I can see that I had changed my entire mindset.

I went from comparing myself to them and saying, “They have something that I don’t.”

To comparing myself and asking, “What are they doing that I can bring into my life to grow and transform myself and my lifestyle?”

Comparing yourself to others will accelerate you to your goals when done correctly.

Here’s a checklist of questions to make sure that you are comparing yourself in a productive way and not a demeaning way:

  1. What habits does this person have that I can bring into my daily life?
  2. What is this person reading right now?
  3. What characteristics do I admire and how do I build those within myself?

There is no reason to fear comparison as long as you are using it as a tool to grow and transform your mindset.

Picture via Instagram: After studying the habits, reading the books and embodying the characteristics of people who were living the life I wanted to-I now travel the world full time. This is from Coiba Island in Panama right after I swam with sharks in crystal clear, emerald green water.

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Originally published at www.quora.com.