You may think everyone is better than you are, but you are only seeing the image they portray to others. You are actively comparing their highlight reel to your intimate knowledge of every flaw that you have which doesn’t make any sense at all. Everyone has their own fears and weaknesses — after all, we’re all human. Stop comparing yourself to others, because you’ll always come up short.
You have to improve as a human being right? And you might think that you’re a real fixer-upper if there ever was one and you’re really embarrassed about that because there are 50 things that are wrong with you along with the fact that you’re compounding it with comparing yourself to others.
The problem with that mindset is that it’s unfair.
When you look at others who are supposedly “better” than you, you’re actually only looking at one dimension at one slice of time. It’s not reasonable to have the whole picture and then you get down on yourself and become depressed or neurotic — there’s nothing good about that.
But, we still arrive at the conclusion that you still need to improve and you aren’t fully who you could become so what do we compare your current self to? We compare your current self to who you were yesterday and we make incremental changes on that foundation of comparison to yourself.
Why do we compare ourselves at all?
Our brains are wired to care about status, our relative position in the social hierarchy and what’s “normal.” It’s challenging to unwire this biological drive.
We compare because it gives us a sense of value and worth. It gives our life a sense of meaning and purpose. This is the issue of self-worth. We’re also afraid of being labeled “weird” or not normal because of our deep rooted fear of being kicked out of the tribe. Some people do it for competition and motivation while others do it because they’re motivated by being the best.
The mature psyche outgrows this. The reality is that most comparing is neurotic. It robs you of joy and satisfaction along with time and energy. Most comparing comes from low self-esteem, not owning who you are, giving into conformity, and giving into the scarcity mentality.
Why is comparing yourself with who you were yesterday the perfect comparison?
The reason for this is because who you are is constant. It allows us to take a controlled set of behaviors and beliefs (yourself) and improve upon that consistently, day in and day out.
It only makes sense to compare yourself to who you were yesterday because everyone is so different. You can’t compare yourself to someone who is wealthy and successful because there are many aspects of that individuals life which you are ignorant of. You can look at the wealthy and successful person and say, “Wow, they have it all and I’m stuck here as a loser” but, what you don’t know is what kind of relationships that person has, you don’t know that he or she has major issues in his or her life that are relatively worse than your own if you had a view of the full picture side by side.
The point is you should be better than you are but not because you’re worse than other people but because you’re not everything you should be. This is why you have to pick the comparison properly.
This comparison to yourself is allow very empowering because it is within your control to create the person you want to become and to improve. It’s not up to anything external.
I would like to provide 7 key ways of interpreting comparison differently. You will find them below.
The 7 Key Re-Frames/Mindset Shifts:
Re-frame #1) Self worth doesn’t exist — We assume we have self worth but in reality, no amount of accomplishments give you worth in life. Worth is just label that our minds create, things don’t have worth. Every human and and object has zero worth. You don’t need the externals to be happy.
Re-frame #2) Human beings are too complex to compare — It’s not like you’re just comparing cars or business plans. By comparing human beings, it’s essentially like comparing apples and oranges. Each one of us has a different life history, genetics, family, resources, environment, and all of this has shaped us very differently. You have to look at the person‘s whole situation which is hard because it’s hidden from sight. It’s an unfair comparison because people are very different.
Re-frame #3) Competition is stupid — This competition mentality is a losing game because there will always be someone better than you in some context. Even if you’re number one, you’ll be fearful of losing that number one spot.
Re-frame #4) Yes, I have handicaps — Every human being has things that we’re good at and bad at and not equally. Some of us are born with diseases or disabilities for example. You can’t be perfect so accept your handicaps.
Re-frame #5) Being normal is a highly overrated — The average person is mediocre and has an unfulfilling life. The herd is unconscious. Life becomes joyful when you act authentic and unique which makes you more attractive.
Re-frame #6) I’m too busy loving myself to compare myself with others — This means falling in love with yourself and your life. Treating yourself and life like a do it yourself project.
Re-frame #7) I love to see people succeed — This destroys the scarcity mindset. View the accomplishments of others as a menu of what you could create. Divorce the qualities from the person. You can develop qualities such as humor, courage, so on and so forth.
There is definitely something that you could do today that will make you slightly better for the next day, always. Almost all the time, there is something within your grasp that you could put right.
This is the fundamental issue: Life is tragic. It is full of suffering and malevolence and there is no doubt about it. It is absolutely brutal, often even beyond imagination. But, there is absolutely something we as individuals can put right and we do not know the upper limit to that.
We do not know what would happen if you put everything right that you could put right in your life. You could be certain though that it would make life a whole lot less tragic and malevolent.