It was a typical workday. I was scrolling through LinkedIn when I saw it. Then I felt this depression starting to creep up.
It was the profile of one of my fraternity brothers who will remain nameless. He was a great guy in college. However, he was also a dolt. He was irresponsible, wealthy and in his 4th year of school when I met him as a freshman. We were friends for the next 4 years of college. Do the math.
Now I was looking at his profile as the former partner of one of the most well known consulting firms in the country. He had left the company and was now a wildly successful entrepreneur. Dang!
“You’re such a loser,” I told myself.
Then it happened again. I saw a picture of a group of my fraternity brothers on a “mancation” I had not been invited to. Their collective net worth was probably on the high side of eight figures. I assumed I would never be invited because I wasn’t at their income bracket.
This made me miserable. For much of my adult life I was a chronic self comparer (if that’s a thing). I was constantly measuring my success to the perceived success of others. This is dumb. I don’t do this any longer. Thank God. Neither should you.
In today’s hyperconnected world, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. With social media platforms showcasing carefully curated highlight reels, it’s no wonder that feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt can quickly creep in. However, constantly comparing yourself to others can have a significant negative impact on your mental health and overall well-being. Instead, let’s explore the benefits of focusing on the things you can control and the positive impact it can have on your self-improvement journey.
The Mental Toll of Comparison:
When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we inadvertently set unrealistic expectations. This unending cycle of comparison often leads to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and even anxiety or depression. It’s important to remember that every person’s journey is unique, and comparing yourself to others undermines your own progress and achievements.
Embrace Your Individuality:
Instead of fixating on what others are doing or achieving, focus on your own strengths, passions, and goals. Embracing your individuality allows you to cultivate a strong sense of self-worth and authenticity. Recognize that everyone has their own journey, and your path is just as valid and meaningful.
Shift Your Focus to What You Can Control:
One of the most empowering things you can do for your mental health is to shift your focus to the things you have control over. Comparison often stems from factors outside our control, such as genetics, circumstances, or luck. By channeling your energy towards your personal growth and development, you can make tangible progress and find fulfillment in your own accomplishments.
Nurture a Growth Mindset:
Comparing yourself to others often stems from a fixed mindset, where you believe that abilities and talents are fixed traits. However, nurturing a growth mindset allows you to see challenges as opportunities for growth. Embrace the idea that you can learn, develop, and improve over time. Focus on setting realistic goals and celebrate the progress you make, no matter how small.
In a world obsessed with comparison, it’s crucial to prioritize your mental health by avoiding the comparison trap. Remember, you are on a unique journey, and your worth should not be determined by the achievements or qualities of others. By focusing on the things within your control, embracing your individuality, and nurturing a growth mindset, you can unlock your full potential and lead a more fulfilling life. Let go of comparison, celebrate your progress, and embrace the joy of self-improvement.