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By Joel C.
How does comparison arise in the mind?
A simple Instagram search shows us eye-catching, “Instagrammable” pictures of people living the great life.
Dating a supermodel. Owning a Lamborghini. Taking a first-class flight ticket to London.
Getting the opportunity to study overseas in a prestigious university. Getting on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Being on the front page of well-known magazines.
And the list goes on.
We all have certain triggers that cause our confidence to take a sudden nosedive — the most common is comparing yourself to others.
And yet, what do you get after comparing yourself to that famous person online? Deep dissatisfaction, envy, ungratefulness and unhappiness.
Why do we compare in the first place?
These are various root causes based on individual reasons. Perhaps we are not content with our self-worth. Perhaps we are not content with what we currently have.
For all we know, we may be living in an environment that has a mindset of keeping-up-with-the-joneses.
There may be certain desires that we haven’t fulfilled yet. Certain milestones we haven’t achieved yet. It may well be a lack of confidence in ourselves.
The only person who can truly know the cause is no other than you. Your life is a reflection of your thoughts.
It is absurd to simply pick up the desire to become a master in a certain field in which someone else is better than you — and jump to the conclusion that you are a failure for not achieving it.
They might be going through a particular struggle behind the curtain. Certainly, social media will only show you a specific type of achievement.
But if we don’t compare ourselves to others, how do we know what to desire for? How do we become better?
There is a healthy way to use comparison for good.
Instead of comparing yourself with others’ achievements, compare yourself to your past self from yesterday.
Everyone has their own goals and dreams that they specifically want to achieve in their lives.
Certainly, you want to achieve these goals too. But do you truly know what they have faced to get to that point?
Looking at it this way, you can see how much you have grown and matured throughout the years. Not to forget, this builds a sense of gratitude in yourself.
Not convinced? Here’s six points to elaborate on why you should be comparing yourself to your past self:
You take control of yourself
Taking control is empowering. You can start by taking full personal responsibility for yourself and learn how to be better than the person you were in your past.
You take full responsibility for your actions
By taking full responsibility, you begin to compete with yourself. You can start being better in a way that you can actually manage. Once you recognise your limits, this builds a sense of humility.
You understand yourself better
As you work on yourself, you begin to understand your own full advantages and disadvantages. You can then custom-make your improvements to your condition.
You acknowledge your weaknesses
By doing this, you acknowledge that somewhere in your life, something needs to be improved. It can be anything from a goal, obligation, bad habits, relationship, skills, or finance.
You learn how to start small
Start by aiming low — or in other words, setting small goals. When you start low and accomplish it, you feel better day by day. And each day, tackle goals that are bigger and higher.
You focus inward rather than outward
By focusing and improving yourself, it prevents negative emotions from arising due to jealousy, which makes you feel less of a person, which again will lead to deep dissatisfaction, envy, ungratefulness and unhappiness.
You do not need to win in everything.
Decide what to let go, and what to pursue.
Save your mental and physical energy on what you truly want to win, as you are a unique person.
You have your own specific path to tread, with your own obstacles to overcome, and you must decide how much of your time to spend on this.
Having a healthy comparison is empowerment to yourself allows you to win in your own areas of your own life. You should have a level of improvement to triumph over your former self.
Make today better than yesterday.
For more stories like this, read: I Quit Following Influencers on Instagram – And My Self-Esteem Has Never Been Better and Silencing Your Inner Critic: 4 Ways to Stop Being So Hard on Yourself.