WARNING – This is my opinion and personal experiences!

“Find the lessons in the pain and cultivate it as your personal weapon” – Unknown

Comparing ourselves is a common epidemic in the world. It doesn’t matter what age you are. It plagues your mind like a disease.

You become resentful to whoever or whatever you are comparing yourself with. Even yourself.

It makes you feel inferior and it conditions you that it’s the right thing to do.

We end up hurting ourselves, therefore lowers our self-esteem. We don’t notice it, but in the long run, it destroys us.

However, you can end this cycle that plagues your mind and you can use the power of comparison for positive use. I will explain soon!

But first, let’s begin with a short story^^

Story time!

Elementary

I was a fat kid growing up. I heard people call me all kinds of names from a pig, piglet, fat boy, etc. You name it all, I heard it all!

Being an innocent fat kid who heard all the teasing and insults, made my self-esteem sink deeper than Mariana’s trench.

Many of the kids were fit, so I looked at myself and believed there was something wrong with being fat. Plus, I was shy, so that added to my insecurities.

I started comparing myself to those kids and I envied them. I wished I was similar to them. The opinions of other people affected me.

It made me bitter to the point it affected how I treated my family.

Middle school

It was my first time attending a private school and it feels a bit different. The campus is clean and the kids were rich.

In the 6th grade, I lost a lot of weight, so I felt good and I can finally “fit in” with other kids. There was no need to compare myself because I “overcame” what bothered me back in elementary.

As I met new people, some kids talked about how their parents bought them game consoles. It seems all of them had every game consoles at that time. They always talked about PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox. Plus, their parents owned really nice and expensive cars.

It made me insecure because my family had an old two doored car. My game console was a PS1, which was 5 years old. My family didn’t even have enough for our school tuition. My mother was struggling.

Because I compared myself with my classmates again, my mind became clouded. Every time my mother would pick us up with her old car I felt ashamed. I pretended not to know her in front of my classmates. And when my classmates talked about new toys or game consoles, I stayed quiet.

Lacking

These are just a few examples of many. But these examples are enough. No matter what the circumstances are, we will always compare ourselves to any external things because we lack what’s inside us.

For my case, I didn’t have self-worth and validation for myself. I saw the kids being praised for what they had externally.

Years later, I figured I lacked love, but it wasn’t love externally that I needed because I already had that. But for myself. I compared myself because of the void in my heart. If only I have the things that others had, then things would be okay.

If I get those same things that the kids had, then I would feel validated. But I didn’t realize that it didn’t matter what I compared myself with. I would never be satisfied.

Satisfied with what? Myself…

When I compared myself to anything, it’s either to feel superior or inferior. It’s to give myself permission that I am worthy, even though, I never needed it. To give validation of my existence.

Years later, I realized that there is only one thing that you compare yourself with. I will explain later, but let me tell you that comparison could be positive too.

Advantage

Comparing doesn’t always mean it’s negative. In fact, there are benefits when you compare yourself initially. However, this happens when you are in peace and you don’t take it too far. You are not attached to the idea of being better than others. But to grow!

Being Competitive. When we compare ourselves, we have the drive to push ourselves. You’re pushing past their boundaries and bettering yourself.

  • I always say this, “If they can do it, then I can do it too!” If you see someone carry out something that you want, then know in your heart that you can do it too.
  • For example, in the martial arts club that I joined, I would always lose in sparring to this one person. So, I told myself “I will reach him one day,” then I let it go. I was not obsessed with that idea, but the desire was there. I’m not sure if I did reach his level (I doubt it), but I did get better and I was happy with that. Knowing that you improved despite the loses, gives that fulfillment.

Self-improvement. If you start comparing yourself, then you want to become better than whatever you compared yourself with. So, use that drive to improve yourself! Instead of being bitter, look to satisfy yourself. One of the best ways is self-improvement.

  • In my case, when I see someone achieves the things that I want to meet, it motivates me to improve. You can choose to mope and feel jealous or you can improve.
  • I noticed, when you compare, you work even harder. It doesn’t feel enough, so you push your limits. You evaluate what you need to improve on. For me, it’s every day and that’s a 24/7 job.

Goals. When we see people better than us, we become more focused. We want to become better than them. Your goals are unique to you, so you can’t allow anyone to surpass you. This is the mindset you cultivated with yourself. It’s a good mindset to keep focused on your goals to win.

  • Long ago, I met a person who wanted to do the same dreams as me. So, meeting that person helped me to reach my goal. If that person is working hard, then I should work even harder. That was the mindset that I had.
  • For example, in martial arts, every time I meet a person “better” than my skill sets, it pushes me to surpass them. I access what I lack and improve from there. Although I don’t do that anymore, it’s an effective mindset.

Disadvantage!

Comparing yourself produces negative consequences with yourself and others. It almost never accomplishes your goals. It leaves you empty in the end and you lose your peace of mind.

Delusion. When you compare yourself, you believe that you are either superior or inferior to others. Therefore, you assume what you think as real for yourself and others.

In terms of being superior, you overestimate yourself by thinking you’re better than others. In terms of inferior, you believe you’re not worth compared to others.

  • I used to compare myself a lot. I even compared other people to others. So, I thought I knew any better, but I didn’t. It gave me a false sense of confidence in myself. I was lost.
  • I stopped comparing myself because if I did I will only hurt myself and it poisons my mind. I realized that I didn’t need to feel superior or inferior to others.

Relationships. Let’s say you compare yourself to your friend. It might be small at first, but it becomes a snowball as time goes by. As the comparison continues, you become resentful towards them. Now, it’s not a friend you are with, but a rival. This happens to everyone. This happened to me!

  • For me, when I compared myself to my friends, I had a little resentment towards them. Because I looked outwards for validation, I lacked foundation with myself and didn’t see what I was truly made of.
  • So if you compared yourself, it’s a huge risk. Instead of enjoying time with friends, you become distant and awkward towards them.

Yourself. It’s a losing battle with yourself. When you compare yourself, it’s a sign of lack inside of you. Lack of self-love.

  • I never grew as a person when I compared myself to others. And if I continued to do that, I ended up hating myself. I started to lose my meaning as a person. I lost sight of myself and tried to live on someone else’s shadow. It was torture!
  • I kept holding on to my ego, therefore it felt like poison. However, I take deep breaths and tell myself that it’s not worth being a slave in your mind. Freedom is way better, then feel like a dog on a leash.
  • The moment you compare yourself, then it’s a sign of weakness in you. It doesn’t matter if you feel superior or inferior compared to the other person. Comparing oneself to anything external so you can feel validated is a sign of lack.

Who should you compare yourself with?

Easy answer, You!! Direct your energy from comparing yourself to anything to yourself instead.

Instead of seeing how superior or inferior you are to another person, step back and see if you are superior or inferior you are from your old self.

We are often busy looking at others, while we forget to nurture ourselves.

Perhaps, when we compare ourselves, it’s a cold sign of insecurity. Because we are neglecting ourselves.

  • When I know I’m comparing myself with something, I listen to my body how it reacts. Sometimes, my eye gets teary or my shoulders tense up. The moment I feel those, I stop immediately and I become aware of my thoughts. When you stop yourself, think to yourself that comparing is not worth it. I take deep breaths until my body feels relaxed and my thoughts are clear. Then, slowly, but surely you take control of your reactions and thoughts.
  • Comparing is similar to being a trapped animal. In my opinion, the more the restriction, the more likely it becomes enraged.

Conclusion

We all go through comparison. Whether we do it to others, with
ourselves, etc. However, it’s a choice to do it or not. It’s okay to
compare if it’s used to help you when you don’t have anything going for
you, initially.

It might have some benefits, but it’s most likely a failing cause.

When we compare ourselves, you are still empty. There are things we lack, therefore we look at others hoping it fills. Comparing ourselves reminds us to look out for our well-being.

So,
let go of comparing ourselves and we will begin to value our worth. Once we
let go, we become and the only thing to compare is ourselves.

Thanks and comment!

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