The shortcomings of always comparing yourself to others - Deepstash

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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others - A Helpful Guide

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 could have been better used otherwise, it results in frustration and hate towards the one you are comparing yourself with and even towards yourself.

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Warren Buffett

“The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an inner scorecard or an outer scorecard. It help..."

Warren Buffett
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.

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.

Checking the headlines

The news  can bring negativity: our impotence to do anything about most of what we hear can lead to a sense of hopelessness. It saps mental energy and focus.

Opting out of fo...

Toxic comparison

To break free from the temptation to compare, audit your social media feeds.

If you find yourself thinking about how your life matches up to a friend’s when you’re not on social media, try to shift your perspective. Think about their human traits, vulnerabilities, and things that you have in common. When you change your mindset, you can move from a place of jealousy to a place of empathy. 

2 types of comparisons
  • Downward comparison (comparing ourselves to those less fortunate): It activates the brain’s “lack” network, emphasizing our insecurity and focuses on safeguarding the status quo at the expense of risk and adventure.
  • Upward comparison (comparing ourselves to those we envy): it can excite feelings of envy and low self-esteem.

Both of these types of comparison can be bad for the brain