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Comparisonitis – Do You Have It?

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

Comparisonitis is a condition where you’re constantly comparing yourself to others. Okay, it’s a made-up word but it does portray how painful it can be. It’s a reliable but somewhat detrimental way to reduce your confidence, self-esteem and motivation. It’s natural to compare yourself to others, most everyone does. But that doesn’t mean it’s a smart thing to do. If you want to become the best possible and happiest you – you need to cure yourself of comparisonitis!

The Problem of Comparisonitis:

There are several challenges that occur when you compare yourself to someone else:

Everyone has a different starting point

You might be just learning to drive and the thought of motorways scares you, but your friend has been confidently driving for 10 years. You might be interested in doing a degree, but your friends did theirs years ago and now have established careers. You can’t compare progress, results, or success unless the starting points are the same, and they never are. But don’t let that stop you from doing what you want to do.

Everyone has a different level of talent

Some people are born with a high IQ. And some people naturally have amazing hand-eye coordination. Others have a natural knack for music, art or writing. Again, different starting points.

The resources available to you and another person are different.

If you want to play the piano and your father is a wealthy concert pianist, you have a huge advantage over someone born into a financially-challenged family that has no experience in music.

We tend to compare ourselves to the best in the world

This is where comparisonitis really comes into play. You compare yourself to world champions, supermodels, Oscar winners. You don’t compare yourself Mr or Ms Average. Instead you look to the best the world has to offer and decide that you’re somehow lacking. Much better to get a dose of reality and compare yourself to your neighbour!

There’s always someone better

There are only a handful of people that can make a reasonable claim to being the best at anything. There are nearly eight billion people in the world. That’s a lot of people you have to surpass to be the best. Why put all that pressure on yourself?

It’s easy to see why comparisonitis can be dangerous. There’s little to gain and too much risk. Comparing yourself to others doesn’t provide useful information. You’re only going to upset yourself, and that type of comparison isn’t fair in the first place.

The Solution - Here’s what you can do instead:

Compare yourself to yourself

A better option is to compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Pay attention to your progress over time. Notice your improvement. Strive to become better each day. Your real competition is the person staring back at you from the mirror.

Limit your exposure to social media

In theory, social media exists to connect people. In actuality, social media is often used as a way of showing off. Besides, how do you know their Instagram Story is the real story? What you get is someone’s best attempt to make their life look better than it really is. Everyone, except you, seems to be living a spectacular life. It’s not true. In fact, they’re probably suffering from comparisonitis more than anyone else, hence why they feel the need to post that crap! Did you know that most people report being happier when they remove social media from their lives? Yes, it really can affect people’s mental health to that degree!

Use the success of others as inspiration

The success of the movers and shakers can be useful to you. You can study how they became so successful. Their success can inspire you to become the best you can be. Just avoid comparing your success to theirs. Their story is different to yours. And you don’t know what’s going on in the background of their lives. Instead of comparing yourself to others – learn from them.

Comparisonitis isn’t good for you

Comparisonitis can be detrimental to your confidence and self-esteem. Instead, compare your current version of yourself to the version of yourself from three months ago. That’s a fair comparison to make. It becomes easy to see your progress or lack of progress.

The best comparison you can make is to your past self. Set a few goals and spend some time each day working on those goals. You’ll be happy when you see the progress you’ve made.

And here’s the added bonus:

By stopping the need to compare, whether that’s via social media or any other way, you save yourself so much time and energy. And that’s more time and energy that you now have available to work on your own goals and personal development. That means you’ll get nearer to the life you want much quicker. Now that’s something to think about, isn’t it?

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