How comparing ourself to others can ruin our lives?

Self estimation has its own role in our lives. Sometimes we need confirmation that we move towards the right direction or there is a need for change. Our mind is programmed to monitor other people’s actions and compare it to ours. The problem arise when we over do it. We likely compare the worst of ourself to the best of somebody else, and that just makes us coming up short. Comparing ourself too often to the richest, smartest or luckiest people makes us think that we are not good enough, not smart enough or not worthy enough. That leads to anxiety or depression.

Alternatively we judge others and see ourself superior. We scoff at what others do and think we are much better or smarter. For example you work really hard and get a much better position with better salary. Than you see someone who was degraded because of his/her laziness or inabilities, doing a worse job for less money. It comes easy to look down to this person and consider ourself better. But does it make us happier? Maybe in the short term, but not in the long run. But why? Why we can’t just see ourself as the best person alive and be happy about it?

When we judge somebody we feel bad about that person. We think he or she might change his/her attitude and behave like we do. We are just unable to understand why doesn’t she/he think like us and that makes us frustrated.

What is the solution then? How can we live a balanced life without feeling bad about ourself our others? Well, that is not easy. First of all, we need to understand that every person is unique. Everybody has different personality, our genes are different, we all raised up in different environment, have different friends and roll models.

Maybe I am very good at math, but awful at sports. My brother can be a good athlete, but has no understanding of math. How can we compete each other? There is no unit of measurement to compare each others strength or weakness, so comparison is useless. Both of us have their own talent, but if we take just math, definitely I am the winner and my brother is the looser. If we take just sports than I will come up short.
Instead of comparing ourself to others we can compare our present being to our past being and keep the comparison within. Than we can see how much we learned and developed during that period, so we can be proud of ourself without judging others.

However in our modern society there is something we are able to directly compare: money. The amount of money one earns can be directly compared to other’s income. This comparison is also not fair because money doesn’t reflects one’s value. There are some really really talented guys out there earning very little money.

Finally, we are all human beings. We can’t change instantly just by taking one decision. It takes time and hard work to change. Keep in mind the goal is not to completely stop comparing ourself to others, but to stop suffering because of it and to stop being an unpleasant person who judges everybody in his/her surrounding.

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