Comparison isn't just a mindset, it’s one of the [most] dangerous things you can do. It will steal your joy, your success, and your self-worth. At an early age, we begin to compare—clothing, sneakers, grades—and as we age, the list of comparisons grows with us. When it comes to developing a career, especially in [anything] creative, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison when the idea should be inspiration. I’m guilty of falling down the rabbit hole of comparing my creative work to others and asking why I’m not moving forward; it’s easy; when you weigh your success against someone else, you’re killing your productivity and questioning what the Universe has for you.
We are in information overload; there’s always a new blog post, social media caption or update from someone on how great their life [currently] is, but here’s the truth—that’s a highlight reel. Imagine following someone on social media, you admire their lifestyle and style and begin to compare your life to theirs, to find out weeks later, their social media (and real life) was a lie. Well, if you’re on Twitter, you know this happened to a well-known blogger, and it proved; when you’re comparing your life to someone else’s, you’re doing yourself a disservice and limiting your full potential.
Here’s the thing, we’re all guilty of comparing our lives and success at one point, but it becomes a problem when your self-worth and success is hindered. If you’re guilty of comparing yourself, here’s three reason why you need to stop.
I. Will stall your progress
If you were able to monitor the amount of time you got lost comparing yourself to someone else, how many hours do you think it would total? The amount of time you’re spending is wasted time you could be working to fulfill your goal or dream. Invest that energy into your work, don’t waste it minding someone else's dream.
II. It’s a lie
Comparison is a straight-up lie, and that’s the honest truth. Comparison tells you that someone else’s success is your failure, and that’s the [biggest] lie you can tell yourself. Someone else’s success is just that—theirs—and the same is true for you. When I see others succeed, I genuinely celebrate them because it proves that with hard work, timing, and the belief in yourself, anything is possible.
Social media is the landing strip for comparison; everything is perfectly curated with filters that gives everyone a beautiful aesthetic but think about how many times you post about your failures. We all have them, but we’re all putting our best foot, style, and tweet forward, and measuring your bad days against someone’s preselected image isn’t fair to you or your self-worth. Measure yourself against yourself, it's about becoming a better you, not the second verison of someone else.
Now that you know how to stop comparing yourself, here’s how you can regain your worth.
Become aware of what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. Many times, we’re holding on to something that is masquerading as something else. Take a moment to understand what that something is; how can you change it? Also, become aware of the problems and challenges that everyone faces; you’re not alone, so allow yourself to be vulnerable; this is where the healing is.
I can’t stress this enough, gratitude will change everything. When you’re constantly focusing on everything you’re grateful for, you have no room to focus on what someone else has. I encourage you to keep a daily gratitude journal and reference back to it when you’re feeling low or stuck. Every morning before I begin my day, I write down five things I’m thankful for, and when I feel myself going off track, I grab my journal and reread my list; this puts everything back into perspective and allows me to focus on the bigger picture.
III. Focus on your journey (without knocking anyone down)
As mentioned above, there’s a belief that someone else’s success is your failure, and it’s the furthest from the truth. Too often we see others succeed and feel like they've taken something from us and because of that feeling, we begin to discredit their accomplishments. If you’re doing this, you have to stop. Refocus that energy on appreciating and respecting your journey. Your journey has nothing to do with how well others are doing; it has everything to do with what you want to do and where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there–focus on that and get to work.