We all do it.
Me, you, and everyone else on the planet.
BUT, unless you are VERY careful, comparing yourself to others will be a recipe for anxiety, stress and disappointment.
However, IF you follow 3 simple rules you can actually benefit from this natural born desire to size yourself up against other people.
What usually happens is this…
Your internal thoughts, and feelings drive your external behaviours.
And so when you compare yourself to somebody else it leads to thoughts and feelings of:
- Jealousy & resentment
- Not being good enough
- Frustration & Unhappiness
Which leads to behaviours like:
- Withdrawing from people or opportunities
- Lashing out with criticism
- Turning to food or alcohol to numb the negative sensations
As a result you surrender control of your life to an external force.
To be confident and happy you need to take back control by mastering your biological need to compare yourself to others.
Evolution has trained your brain to use comparison to figure out how you measure up to other people.
“It’s one of the most basic ways we develop an understanding of who we are, what we’re good at, and what we’re not so good at.”Thomas Mussweiler, Organisational Behaviour, London Business School
Most of the time, this calculation is made in a split second in the background, and you don’t even realise it.
But when you dwell on other people’s lives, it can quickly become toxic.
Here are 3 Rules to stop you surrendering control of your life to an external force:
1. Life Is Not A Highlight Reel
When you look at ANYBODY else you are seeing a highlight reel.
This is not reality!
You are not seeing every good, bad, and indifferent experience and event that has led them to the single moment you are choosing to compare yourself with.
You’re wasting emotional energy, time and often money to match up with an image.
To be more precise your perception and interpretation of an image.
Nobody is faultless or flawless, everybody struggles, and we all have bad days.
Life is an imperfect rollercoaster of highs, lows and everything in between.
In the end all that matters are the smiles and cries that YOU experience on the ride.
2. Rise Up
We look at other people and ask—are we stronger, faster, more intelligent, more attractive, more popular, richer, and more successful than whoever we’re focused on?
The answer does not matter because the question is wrong.
Instead, when you catch yourself wondering these things, stop, and instead ask…
Where do I feel like I’m falling short and how can I change this?
But, and this is critical…
You must do this through honest self-reflection of what makes YOU truly happy.
The only comparison you should be doing in your head is comparing yourself to who you were yesterday.
Setting standards by judging others is doomed to produce discontent, discouragement and a sense of failure.
Work out who you want to be, and focus on the process to move towards this.
Do this and happiness and satisfaction will be the natural byproduct.
3. You Are You
There is only one thing that you’re better at than other people: being YOU.
This is the only game you can truly win, because even the best in the world don’t stay that way forever.
Playing to someone else’s scoreboard is easy, that’s why a lot of people do it.
But the result is always negative.
Thinking about what matters to you is hard, but once you start playing by your rules everything becomes easier.
You get one life. Play your own game.
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