Comparison is a natural human tendency and there are an infinite number of ways to do it. The truth is, it is one of easiest traps to fall into and one of the toughest habits to break.
We see other people with things that we want and we think, ‘Why do they have what I don’t?’
Comparison can be harmless, sure, but there are side effects. It can leave us feeling unbalanced, like we’re constantly on the wrong foot. This isn’t surprising, considering ‘comparison’ has no place in our equation for well-balanced living.
It can lead to feelings that are quite disarming and it can have some ugly side effects.
Likely, you have experienced (or are experiencing) many of them first-hand in your life as well.
Comparison doesn’t include context.
You may think you know the full story when you compare yourself to others but 9 times out of 10 you’re wrong. You will never know the journey that they faced to get what they have today; all you see is what they’ve got.
Comparison puts your focus on the wrong person.
Every minute that you spend comparing ourselves to others is a minute that you could be focusing on ourselves. Each time you do it, you sacrifice some of your own magic because we’re chasing someone else's.
Comparison often breeds resentment.
Resentment is an ugly feeling and when it rears its ugly head it can cause quite a lot of problems. Comparison can lead towards resentment of others and resentment of ourselves. We resent others for having what we don’t have, and resent ourselves for resenting others for having something that we want.
Comparison steals your confidence.
Comparison sucks out confidence like a leech. The truth is, there will always be someone prettier than you, skinnier than you, stronger than you, smarter than you, or funnier than you. If you think of yourself as ‘less than’ in any way, you will forget that what really sets you apart is that there is only one you.
Comparison makes finding contentment a million times harder.
It is virtually impossible to find contentment within yourself you compare yourself to anything outside of yourself. If you get it into your head that you won’t be happy until you have what someone else has then contentment will always be just out of reach.
The ugly truth
The truth about comparison is that its side negative side effects can be far reaching. It creates chaos in our minds and can leave us with a comparison hangover that lasts for days.
It would be naive to think that we can live completely comparison-free if we just tried hard enough. What I do think is that the more we focus our intentions on being our best ourselves, the less likely we are to fall victim to comparison. Or at the very least, we’re able to release those thoughts as quickly as they come in.
If we’re able to do that, we’ll find ourselves on a much easier path to contentment.