With glamorized and edited glimpses into the lives of millions pumped out at numbing rates it’s not surprising that comparison has become a force more common than your neighborhood Spider-Man.
Personally, I’m no stranger to comparison.
I’ve seen how it can be used as a tool for good and bad.
Can comparison really do any good?
Well let’s first define our terms.
Upward comparisons is inspirational. Someone’s accomplishments, goals, ideas, etc. inspire you while not degrading your view of yourself.
Downward comparisons is self defeating. You feel worse and less motivated when you see the accomplishments of others.
It’s easy to tell when you’re experiencing upwards or downwards comparison, one resembles the physical feeling of how meat from Taco Bell looks.
So how do you get more of the former while avoiding the latter?
Equip your brain with tools to fight comparison. Although comparison is not something that can be forced upon you, it is also an inevitable part of the human experience so how can we best prepare for it?
Notice exact moments when you begin to think negatively about yourself based on what someone else is doing.
Actively adopt beliefs that your value does not change depending on what you have or do not have, do or do not accomplish. Try to remind yourself of that when you feel discouraged.
Limit your social media consumption. (No matter how confident you are as a person, and how much you know that your intrinsic value does not change, it is unrealistic to expect that view to hold constant all the time. That’s why limiting social media consumption is a MUST in your pursuit to avoid downward comparison. Exactly how much to limit that to is a topic worthy of its own post.)
Congratulate others on their success. When you’re cheering for someone it makes it a lot harder to be discouraged by their win.
Don’t just assume you should follow someone else’s path. Of course it looks amazing, that’s why they posted it on social media. But before you dive head first and say “I WANT IN” ask yourself if their accomplishments align with your goals. Often they don’t. And that’s okay. After all, you can’t accomplish everything so stop buying into the lie that you need to in order to be happy.
Have a firm source of joy, that’s not circumstantial.