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Comparing Yourself to Other People? Stop!

I am noComparing Yourself to Others stranger to a life of comparing yourself to others.

I did this so well for many years. It doesn’t work the way you think it does.

When you compare yourself to others, what do you hope to accomplish? Do you think that by doing that, you will motivate yourself to do better, to have more, to challenge yourself?

It might look like it works temporarily but it really doesn’t. Because when you are stuck in the comparing yourself to others trap, you lose. You lose because inside you think that you are less than.

Using others as a measuring stick of our success is a game that you can’t win. When it comes down to it, comparing yourself to others is just another way to criticize yourself. It’s “Look at how great Bill is doing in his life, he has that great car, house, job, family…I’m such a loser…”

Comparing Yourself to Others Leads to Jealousy

So if you are in a family where you have the least amount of financial resources and you are comparing yourself to them…and you have a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that you will never catch up…do you feel happy for them?

Probably not. You probably feel jealous of their accomplishments. And in order to feel jealous of their accomplishments, there is a part of you that thinks you will never achieve it.

Because if there is jealously…you don’t think you can have it…whatever it is…

When you look at someone who is better off than you, or has a great relationship when you don’t, and you think “I want that. I am going to have that, too, soon”, you get a different feeling. Then you are inspired by the accomplishments of the others…and that works well!

Letting Go of Comparing Yourself to Others and Being Inspired Instead

It is a subtle shift…that mindset of being inspired by other people’s good fortune. When I was first doing Tae Kwon Do, I was the oldest person in the class. There were many students who were younger and fitter than me.

I felt out of place and stuck in the comparing myself with those amazing students who could kick over their head and do gravity defying jumps. I wasn’t being fair to myself and I certainly wasn’t being fair to them. Because it affected my relationships with them…all of that comparison crap.

I had a very wise teacher who took me aside one day when I was particularly discouraged. He told me that I was only in competition with myself. He told me that every student was in competition with themselves.

He said that I only needed to do better than I did the time before. That I only needed to work on how high I could kick…how fast I could spin…how well I could memorize the patterns and execute them. How fast and hard I could break through that board or throw that punch.

Because no matter what we do, there can always be someone better than us. I was not the best Tae Kwon Do practitioner in the world…but I was the best Tae Kwon Do practitioner that I could be…at that moment.

Yes, I strived to be excellent…and because I stopped comparing myself with others…the others who weren’t me…I could enjoy the process…and that is the point, isn’t it? I had to let go of all of that inner criticism and it made the entire process of getting that black belt more fun.

When you are content to be simply yourself

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” Lao Tzu

Enjoy the Journey

When you take the time to enjoy who you are…and stop comparing yourself to others, you can enjoy this journey that we call life.

You can learn to respect yourself…and the uniqueness that is you…because you are the only one of you here on the planet. Even identical twins have their own personalities and likes and dislikes.

Self-esteem increases when you stop comparing yourself to others. When the yardstick of your life is what you decide…when you understand that you are the one who decides if you have succeeded or not…that makes all the difference.

So, set your goals based on what you want…discover what that is…and then be content to move forward…doing the best you can…with what you’ve got…and see where that takes you…you might be very, very surprised how much better life is when you give yourself a break…and stop comparing yourself to others…

“Drive your own life… you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner

 

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Sherie

I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • JP July 7, 2013, 1:05 am

    I am dealing with this now. It is horrible.

  • Astarotte February 19, 2013, 10:00 pm

    If you never compare yourself to other people, you’ll never get better – you need to have goals in mind. People say “The only person you should compare yourself with is your past self”; but that will only make you satisfied with being ‘good’ at something – it will not drive you to always become ‘BETTER’. There’s always room to improve, no matter how great you think you are – that’s the reason why you should compare yourself to other people. It’s the individuals who compare themselves to other people and NEVER TAKE ACTION that are in trouble – they spend their lives in envy, questioning the ‘fairness’ in life (and assuming other people didn’t have to WORK for their goals). There is, however, one quote that I completely agree with – “NEVER COMPARE YOUR BEGINNING TO SOMEONE ELSE’S MIDDLE”.

    • Sherie February 21, 2013, 7:56 pm

      Having goals in mind is always good. However, the motivation behind them is what concerns me. Some people are motivated by comparing themselves to other people but the majority of people who compare themselves to others feel bad when they do that…and so it is not motivating, it is demotivating…thanks for your comment.
      Sherie recently posted..Are You Fighting a Hard Battle? The Importance of EmpathyMy Profile

  • Doreen January 25, 2013, 11:21 pm

    For years I’ve had a poster that has a quote ‘almost all our unhappiness is a result of comparing ourselves to others’. This is so very true. I have seen it many times. Sadly, some people are so preoccupied with what other’s have, they can’t see the blessings they themselves possess. It steals their joy and even their life.

    This is a great post and very well written!
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  • Pamela Gail Johnson January 14, 2013, 9:15 pm

    Jealousy is definitely a happiness buster … love this line: Because if there is jealously…you don’t think you can have it…whatever it is…
    Pamela Gail Johnson recently posted..Hunt for Happiness Week: January 20 – 26, 2013My Profile

  • Suzanne Jones January 12, 2013, 9:02 am

    Sherie if people understood early on these words you spoke, they would preserve the best part of themselves.. I did this too, early on, often. What I found was I was not comfortable in my own skin so I wasn’t confident that I was good enough. What I also found as the years went by and my perception changed, I wouldn’t want to be anyone other than me. Everyone has ‘stuff’. We are all the same with different ‘stuff’. Being in competition with ourselves is the only way we will grow to our full potential.
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  • Delia January 10, 2013, 6:24 pm

    Love your article, Sherie! Yes, I used to compare myself with others but somewhere between reading all the positivity and self-development books, the shift has happened.

    Now I’m working hard to make my daughters believe in themselves and in what they can accomplish, and getting them to the point where they do not compare themselves with others. It is a challenge and great honour at the same time to help them!

    Thanks for the great post, you inspired me with some tips to try!
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  • Lorii Abela January 10, 2013, 8:38 am

    I always enjoy reading your post Sherrie. It makes one think of this journey in life. Indeed it stimulates understanding the value of a life worth deserving. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Meryl Hershey Beck January 9, 2013, 7:57 pm

    Thanks for the post, Sherie, and for sharing the wise words of your teacher!
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  • Dawn Lanier January 9, 2013, 5:22 pm

    Loved this Sherie! You hit the nail right on the head when you said ‘Using others as a measuring stick of our success is a game that you can’t win.’ You are uniquely you, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I think that if all you accomplish in life is being he best you can be (to borrow a phrase), you’ve done what God created you to do. And that’s cause for celebration. Thanks for another great post.
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  • Christiane Marshall January 9, 2013, 4:04 pm

    So true! And something I struggle with, even knowing there’s a better way. Thanks for the reminder.
    Christiane
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  • Terressa Cortez January 9, 2013, 11:55 am

    I catch myself so many times doing this. I am working every day to change my mindset and to just enjoy me and know that I am ok to be “Myself” only. Thank you for the reminder!

  • Elizabeth L Maness January 9, 2013, 4:58 am

    Ughh I do this too often Sherie1 Thanks for the reminder! I want to be in a race with me only!
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  • jean January 8, 2013, 9:03 pm

    Great topic Sherie. Good reminder that we come into our own and find more peace and joy when we stop comparing and start enjoying ourselves for who we really are. We all have own own path!
    jean recently posted..How To Create Goals That Are Bigger Than Your PastMy Profile

  • Estelle January 8, 2013, 9:02 pm

    Great article! I stopped comparing myself to others, but still compare myself to how I was maybe when I was younger, thinner, etc. – still a work in progress!!

  • Forrest Graves January 8, 2013, 6:04 pm

    Very well written article. I believe comparing can be both positive and negative. It depends on what we do with what we learn when we compare. 🙂
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  • Alyssa January 8, 2013, 4:58 pm

    I definitely struggle with this. Good reminder for sure!
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  • Meire Weishaupt January 8, 2013, 10:46 am

    Excellent advice in your post Sherie! Everything comes to respect yourself being who you really are. The quote is one of my favorites! Thank you!
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  • Alexandra McAllister January 8, 2013, 8:38 am

    Beautiful article, Sherie. I stopped comparing myself to others years ago after a lot of “work.” I love what you wrote: “When you take the time to enjoy who you are…and stop comparing yourself to others, you can enjoy this journey that we call life.” This is so true! Thank you for sharing!
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  • Carl Mason-Liebenberg January 8, 2013, 8:37 am

    Comparisson has played a huge role in my life…growing up I was neve really encouraged in who I was, how I looked, what Skills and talents I had so I looked to others to see what I should be, look like, etc…it is a brutal road and a very hrd habit to break…
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    • Sherie January 8, 2013, 8:15 pm

      Awww…Carl, you are so right…because for most people…when they compare themselves to others, it is in a negative way. Big hugs! You are amazing!
      Sherie recently posted..Comparing Yourself to Other People? Stop!My Profile

  • denny hagel January 8, 2013, 7:20 am

    Important topic! We spend way too much time looking around rather than within! And that is where the real gold lies!! Thanks! Great job!
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