Comparison. We’re all guilty of it.
How many times have you compared your own progress with that of someone else and been left feeling disheartened and dismayed?
You may have had a lot of negative self-talk about why you aren’t yet at their level or perhaps feeling as though you’ll never be as successful as they are.
Theodore Roosevelt was right when he said “comparison is the thief of joy” and this toxic mindset of constantly comparing can hinder your development and make you miserable in the process.
Constantly comparing yourself to others can be detrimental to your mental health and well-being in three ways.
1: It makes us see ourselves as “lesser”.
When you perceive someone else to be doing something better than you or you think is more attractive than you are or have something that you don’t, you are essentially saying to yourself that you are not enough.
For instance it is simply unfair for a start-up business to be comparing themselves with someone who has been in business for five years. Similarly, it is unrealistic for someone who has just started to exercise to compare themselves with someone who has already spent years at the gym.
Just because these people have been working at their goals longer than you have, it does not make you any less of a success.
When your inner voice starts asking why you’re not like that other person, shut it down immediately. Why put yourself down like that?
You would not allow other people to talk to you in this way so why should you allow your inner talk to put you down like this?
2: It takes you away from what you should be doing.
Comparison is all consuming. You could be so wrapped up in what others are doing and why you’re not at the same level when you really should be using your time and energy growing yourself and working on what matters to you.
Comparison stops you from bringing yourself up and making real progress and improvement in your life and is excellent at making you feel terrible about yourself.
The reality is these people you are compering yourself with have worked hard to get where they are now. If you stop letting your inner talk bully you and making you feel terrible, then you can devote all of that energy into blossoming and becoming exactly who you want to be.
Don’t let comparison hold you back from achieving your goals.
3: Self talk will become more and more toxic.
The more you compare yourself with others, the nastier your inner critic becomes.
You may continually undermine yourself, feel worthless and underestimate what you are doing, whether that’s growing your business, taking up a new course or embarking on a weight loss journey or health kick.
This in turn may even prevent you from trying in the first place.
You are beautiful and valuable and deserve to be happy, don’t be your own worst enemy.
Comparison makes for a joyless existence, one where we are too harsh on ourselves and becomes a cycle of negative self-talk that can be difficult to break out of.
It is a dangerous situation to get in to but there is always a way out.
The key to this is to realise that the only person you can actually compare yourself with is yourself.
This is as easy as looking back on what you have achieved in the past and noticing where you are in the present. From this, you will be able to see just how much you have grown and how far you have come.
Say you closed two deals last month, aim for three the next month. If you did ten sit-ups last week, aim for twenty the next. Its all about continually pushing yourself to grow and develop in a healthy way that is not detrimental to your happiness.
While you are reflecting, remember to celebrate! It is vital for your own personal and professional growth to celebrate your achievements and to keep looking to improve on those achievements, to keep pressing forward and being the best you can be.