No One Compares to You
From the day we are born, we begin the journey of finding ourselves. Unfortunately, sometimes along the way, we do things that cause us to lose ourselves. One of those is making comparisons. Of course, I’m talking about comparisons that make us feel “less-than.” It’s a bad habit that some call the joy thief.
Think back on your own life. Have you ever longed to be anyone or anywhere else than you were? I have. I think we all have. The “less-than” comparisons begin with noticing that someone has something we don’t have but wish we did. As a kid, it could have been a sporty new bike, the cool sneakers, or being the pull-up champion in gym class. Maybe it was longing to be part of the in-crowd or win public acclaim like being named “Student of the Month” or admitted to the National Honor Society.
As we grow older, the desires and stakes get bigger. We can get lost in chasing after big cars and homes, high-status positions, and social recognition.
Suppose we continue practicing the comparison habit, focusing on what we don’t have instead of what we do have. In that case, we leave no room for joy in our lives or even for ourselves and others. Research shows that comparing oneself to others leads to jealousy, depression, and lowered self-confidence — the opposite of joy.
If, somewhere along your journey, you have dropped the bad habit of making comparisons—Congratulations! But if you’re still stuck in what I consider life’s spin-cycle setting, here are some suggestions to help you get out of it:
If you feel the urge to compare yourself, use a past version of yourself instead of someone else.
Comparing your looks? Check out photos of yourself in middle school.
Your artistic skills? Look at your work from a few years back. Relish how far you’ve come.
Turn the mirror on yourself and your surroundings. Then ask yourself, “Is this enough?” If the answer is “yes,” then sit back and enjoy it.
Finally, may you know that you are loved for who you are, not what you have or where you are. And always remember: No One Compares to You.