As I sat waiting at the car wash, I couldn't help but overhear a conversation between two men about a beautiful, shiny new Porsche. They were discussing the different features of this recent purchase and comparing it to a Porsche their mutual friend had. I sensed they both felt slightly envious of their mutual friend.
How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Maybe you compare your home, clothes, income, career, accomplishments, achievements or recognition to your friends, neighbors or even complete strangers. It is natural for us to compare ourselves to others who seem to have more success in a particular area.
Nevertheless, the more we focus on what we feel we lack, the greater our insecurities will become. Measuring our lives, success, bank account or career impacts our confidence and self-esteem. Comparing someone's strengths to our weaknesses is a sure-fire recipe for a drop in self-confidence. Frankly, it isn't a useful way to spend our time.
As a Life Empowerment Coach, I explain to clients, that some of us experience the desire to compare ourselves with others as a minor irritation or distraction from time to time—we may, on occasion, think about the comparison, but we decide to focus our energy and thoughts on something more positive. For others, however, the need to compare may be more akin to a tiny devil sitting on our shoulder, constantly whispering words into our ear and creating a life of suffering and negativity.
Ongoing comparisons can cause anxiety, worry and doubt. Comparing does not have to be a part of your life. Once you become aware you are comparing more often than necessary, you can stop yourself and choose to focus on you. Here are some tips to minimize it from your life:
Remember, everyone has weak and strong points. Nobody is perfect; no one has a perfect life. Nevertheless, many people continue to build perfect images in their minds of what they should be like and what their life should be like.
Put the focus on you. Compare yourself with yourself. Look at where you have grown and what you have achieved. Appreciate all you have done. Notice how far you have come and what goals you are planning to do.
Take time each day to be thankful and grateful for what you already have—this can help minimize any envy you may be holding. Make a list in your mind or write a few things you are grateful for in your journal.
Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on you and what you have put into practice today that you didn't yesterday. When we focus on improvement, we can reflect on what we did today that we don't want to repeat tomorrow, and we can recall what we did today that was good and implement that tomorrow.
Feel empowered to be yourself, no matter your size, color, religion, race or gender. Don't be afraid to be yourself. Nobody but you has the power to dictate your definition of success or your beliefs. If you have forgotten the true you, take some time to find yourself again.
The more focus we can put on our unique strengths, the more fulfilling our lives will be. We all are here for our own journey. If we stop looking at life as a competition and stop constantly focusing on how we rank in comparison with others, we can become who we are meant to be through learning and creating.
Everybody comes into the world the same way—we all feel, age, analyze and eventually die. Nobody is more special than another. We are all different. This journey has nothing to do with how high other people rank, what they are doing and what they have. It has everything to do with you and what you want to be and where you want to go.