Do you ever compare yourself to others and end up not feeling so good? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, untold numbers of people will read something from a friend on social media today wish their family vacation was so spectacular or that their career was so stellar. When we watch celebrities walk the red carpet, it’s easy to forget that no one has a perfect life—even if their designer clothes, make-up and hair-style make it seem so.
There’s no shortage of opportunities to compare ourselves to others when it comes to beauty, income, talent, title or just about anything. Somehow, somewhere along the way, we’ve learned to look at others, compare ourselves to them and to suffer in the process. Playing the Comparison Game isn’t much fun and we can stop with a little help:
Decide What’s Important to You:
I had a friend who recently bought a new car and was thrilled—until they saw a co-worker with a higher end model of the same car. I asked my friend, “On a scale of 1-10, how important is it to you to have the higher end model car instead of the one you bought?” They thought a moment and quickly said, “You know, all things considered, it’s not that important.” Our culture and the media might tell us we need to look like a model or have the power of a CEO to feel important, fulfilled and happy—but we can make up our own minds about that. The key is to decide what’s important to you and keep the rest in perspective.
Monitor Your Progress, Not Others:
It’s okay, even good, to compare yourself to someone else—if that comparison inspires you to be your best self. For instance, if someone in your company gets promoted and that inspires you to evaluate your own career goals, all is well. If you know someone who is generous and kind and that reminds you that you are as well, that’s a plus. Monitor you own progress at work and in life and if you decide you want to do better, you can. The truth is, if we’re focused on ourselves and making progress, we’re going to be too busy and happy to compare ourselves to others.
Don’t Compare, Be Aware:
Remind yourself that happiness is a choice and comparing yourself to others destructively will only rain on your parade. When you see something in others you feel you don’t have, be aware of what’s really important to you. If it is, inspire yourself to become the person who has the qualities you admired, and practice everyday being more aware and happy about you do have. You might find that focusing on what you do have (instead of what you don’t have) leads to more and more of it coming your way.