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The Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others

Warren Buffett

“The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an inner scorecard or an outer scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an inner scorecard.”

Warren Buffett

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The Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others

The Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others

https://fs.blog/2019/06/comparing-yourself-others/

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Key Ideas

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

“The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an inner scorecard or an outer scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an inner scorecard.”

Comparing ourselves to others

It allows them to drive our behavior.

Sometimes it’s about something genetic/physical (wishing to be taller for example), but more often it’s about something the other person is capable of doing that we wish we could do as well. Sometimes this comparison is motivating and sometimes it’s destructive.

You can be anything

... but you can’t be everything. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re often comparing their best features against our average ones. 

It’s like being right-handed and trying to play an instrument with your left hand.

Recipe for unhappiness

Not only are we unhappy but the other people are as well. They are probably comparing themselves to you. 

At worst, when we compare ourselves to others we end up focusing our energy on bringing them down instead of raising ourselves up.

The only game you'll win

There is one thing that you’re better at than other people: being you. This is the only game you can really win.

Life becomes about being a better version of yourself. And your effort and energy go toward upgrading your personal operating system every day, not worrying about what your coworkers are doing, for example.

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The shortcomings of always comparing yourself to others

Individuals have always had the tendency to compare themselves to others. However, this can only have negative effects on our life: it deprives you of joy, it makes you lose precious time that ...

Tips to overcome the need to compare yourself to others

While comparing yourself to others can cause serious harm to your life, there are some tips you can use in order to avoid this behaviour.

Among these tips, some of the most interesting refer to how to become aware of the negative effects this comparison has on your life, practise gratitude, learn to admire and learn from others or focus on yourself- so you can become a better version of yourself.

Social Comparisons

A social comparison happens when we are measuring ourselves by the success or the failures of others. We all use social comparisons to motivate ourselves.

  • Upward c...
Compete With Yourself

If you find the external upward social comparisons de-motivating, it is a good idea to shift your focus inwards, and compare your past with your present, while keep pushing yourself every week, month and year. Having a written record of your performance creates a tangible comparison chart to work with.

Downward comparisons help us find motivation when we are feeling low, as it gives perspective. They also provide us with an urge to help others in need, igniting our energies to mentor and support those in need.

FOMO Comes From Unhappiness

You’re not feeling so great — whether you realize it or not — and you turn to social media to make you feel better. Only one problem there: it actually makes you feel worse…

The Facebook Illusion

We all know that Facebook doesn’t provide a very well-rounded picture of people’s lives. It’s more like the cherry-picked perfection version.

People with FOMO have ambivalent feelings toward Facebook. It brings them up when they post about their own carefully edited version of life awesomeness, and slams them back down when they feel they have to compete with other people's lifestyle awesomeness - especially when they're feeling a little down or anxious themselves.

The Problem Is Attention

Looking at social media for happiness is a bad idea. You won’t find it out there. Your happiness is determined by how you allocate your attention. What you attend to drives your behavior and it determines your happiness. 

Changing behavior and enhancing happiness is as much about withdrawing attention from the negative as it is about attending to the positive.

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