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It's time to stop comparing yourself to others!
Stop falling into this delusion.
I used to dread going on LinkedIn. Even though I love my job, each visit would start off innocently but immediately turn into a conversation that went something like this:
"Oh, look, another new job announcement.
I wish I had a new job and could make a big announcement.
Why don't I try to get a new job?
Is there something wrong with me?
Maybe I am stuck where I am?
Have I spent too many years at this job?
What if my skills are going stale?
Do my manager and the team even like me?
Maybe it's time to move on?
I wish I were the one announcing my new job to the whole world; it would feel so good.
I'm not good at all!"
This internal conversation would always end with me feeling bad about myself. Feelings of self-doubt and being small would cloud my thoughts, which is a dark place to be even for a short period, let alone wallowing in it for an extended time.
Comparison is a universal problem. We compare ourselves with someone else's status, wealth, family, education, beauty, or million other things.
"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms." - Zen Shen.
Why do we compare ourselves to others?
As Jiddu Krishnamurti, a spiritual philosopher and teacher, said about comparison with others, "I only compare to gain, in order to achieve, in order to become. But when I don't compare, I am beginning to understand what I am."
When we judge and compare ourselves with others, we are giving them status, making ourselves small, weak, and putting ourselves down, but when we don't compare ourselves to others, we are strong and confident in who we are.
When we don't compare ourselves to others, we have the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, who we are in this moment, our strengths and weaknesses, our needs and wants, our goals and point of view; we also learn about our potential
We must stop comparing ourselves to others!
The Dangers of Comparison
In Zen, comparing with others is considered a delusion, a persistently held belief with evidence to the contrary, because of feelings of envy, jealousy, and self-doubt that take over us and get lodged in our minds, preventing us from living as our true selves.
Comparison is dangerous because we allow a single experience to bleed into our lives and let it define who we are. Because we want what others have, it can make us start imitating others instead of sharing our uniqueness with the world.
The comparison also changes us. It makes us think small, act small and become small. It hinders our progress and takes us off the path to achieving our full potential.
But we can overcome this delusion. We can and must stop comparing ourselves to others.
We can stop comparing with others and be the best versions of ourselves by realizing that what others do in their lives is not related to us in any way and that what we do is not related to what the other person does. Our experiences are unique, and we have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve greatness through our efforts.
Try this instead:
Appreciate your life - You have achieved much up until now, against all odds. You have overcome challenges and setbacks that are no small feat. Take a moment to think back and see the journey you have taken in life to get to this very moment. You don't need to compare yourself to anyone. Stop comparing; you're great as you are!
Practice gratitude - I used to think this was generic advice, but after practicing gratitude for a few days, I realized its transformative effect on my mind. By recognizing the good, I have in my life right now; I could let go of the need to compare myself with anyone else. If you can't find anything to be grateful for, dig deeper and ask yourself, "What am I grateful for?" the answer will come to you. Why be ungrateful and compare ourselves with others?
Do what brings you joy - What do you love to do? Identify those activities that awaken your soul where you quickly get into a flow state. You know the times when you don't know where the time went. Fill your days with those activities so that you fill your life with happiness and satisfaction. Why bother comparing yourself with someone else when your life is amazing?
Focus on yourself - Identify the areas you have grown in the past few months and years and plan to continue that trend to reach new heights. You have great potential, and your efforts will pay off; anyways, who needs to waste time comparing themselves with the highlight reels of others, not you?
Believe in yourself and in what makes you unique. No one else is living our amazing life, especially not the people we compare ourselves against. Why go through the unhappiness and destructive thoughts that comparison brings instead? Choose to live a productive and fulfilling life where you live according to your values so you can achieve your creative potential.
You have the power to stop comparing yourself to others, and you can start right now!
Do you struggle with comparison? What have you tried to overcome that has worked for you? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Till next time, stay strong!