Comparison is the thief of joy. Especially, in today’s digital world, self-comparison is an easy thing to do. We often find ourselves comparing ourselves with the people around us – our friends, acquaintances, cousins, etc. But what’s more worst today is that we have begun to compare ourselves with people we don’t even know. Thanks to social media.
Comparison is the self-sabotaging you do to yourself. This is the easiest way to go against your mental health and traumatize yourself.
The digital lie we are living in today has taken so higher a place in our lives that we have forgotten to practice gratitude for what we already have. We have prioritized making ourselves feel inferior to others. And, do you know the worst part of all of this? We tend to do it unintentionally.
While we go on comparing our life with others in every possible way, we have become so engrossed to do it that we have easily forgotten to appreciate what we already have. Or to say, we have unknowingly forbidden ourselves to look towards the brighter side of life.
This is not what only I say. Years ago in 1950, a social psychologist named Leon Festinger proposed his Social Comparison Theory. The theory found that humans have this innate drive to evaluate and compare themselves with their surroundings. We choose comparison to evaluate ourselves because that is easily within our reach.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Choose Gratitude instead?
1. Social Media detoxification
With an average user spending approximately 2.5 hours of his/her day on social media, it has truly become an essential part of our lives. But it has got its dark side.
Seeing other people posting the best of their lives can easily arouse the feeling of comparing our life with theirs. We usually forget that people rarely share their losses on social media. Everyone is trying to project their life as “perfect”. While in reality, nobody has it together.
While it is completely normal to dive into the ocean of comparison, we ought to understand that no one is posting their failures or miseries on social media. Hence, it is not 100% real.
So what do you do? How do you deal with this feeling of inferiority that we get when we see other people portraying this Instagram-perfect life – Well, you unfollow them.
Just like our body, detoxification is good for our social media accounts too. And, it works at its best. I have personally tried it. Being someone who used to compare her life with people who are almost double her age, successful, and living their best life, I began to detox my social media time-to-time.
The person doesn’t have to bully you or do something directly to you. If you feel inferior to them and go on to develop a self-sabotaging attitude, you must do nothing else but simply remove them. Out of sight, out of mind. Because let’s face it – nobody cares in the online world.
But, you must look at your family and friends in real life. Because they do care about you. You are an important part of each other’s life. Therefore, detox your social media and be thankful for the people who love you in real life for real.
2. Start loving your imperfections
While you may think that everyone around has their life all good and perfect. It is usually the other way round. As they say, “the grass is always greener on the other side.”
Perfection is a myth. And if you are trying to be a perfect human being, you are already preparing your efforts to go in vain. One who is driven behind perfections never experiences the true essence of life which rather lies in being imperfect.
Perfection is the facade we wish to achieve even though we know it is unattainable in so many senses yet achievable in many ways. To feel you are perfect is rather a misconception. To think that the other person is perfect is nothing but underestimating yourself.
Hence, let us just live with what we have and work to make it better every day instead of having an eye on a goal that doesn’t even exist in reality – to be perfect.
So, the next time you find yourself comparing your life to others, you must stop. You ought to stop then and there. Comparison happens when we feel insufficient. Therefore, try to appreciate what life has given you.
Remember, while you are comparing yourself and making you feel inferior, there is somebody out there who dreams of living your life. It’s truly a cycle, where we all are intertwined and interrelated without being tied to each other directly.
Therefore, accept and embrace your imperfections. And, if you cannot accept them, then do what is right to overcome them. But, do not compare yourself. Rather be grateful for what you have. Own it and do that with pride.
Your imperfections are what makes you, you. Never forget this.
3. Learn to accept your journey
I read this quote once and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since then. It is what helps me hustle every day to chase and work towards my dream of becoming a successful writer someday. It goes like this – “Who you are today is the result of what you did a year ago and who you will be a year later will be the result of what you do today.”
Life is as simple and complicated as this one quote right here.
Each of us has an idol who inspires us. They have this charm and aura that keeps us in awe every time we see or talk about them. But, while we know the person and his success, we usually ignore the struggle and journey behind it.
Life isn’t the same for anybody. But, life is surely good for all. It is good to all only after it teaches you what is necessary. Hence, while you are on your journey, learn to accept it. Accept the heartbreaks, accept the failures, and learn from them. Keep the lessons with you and move forward with dignity.
Patience is the strongest virtue. And, once you learn it there is no force stronger than your determination to stop or restrict you from becoming your best version.
Noam Chomsky, the great linguist, in his universal theory of grammar talks about how the ability to learn a language is innate and possessed by all humans. Comparison is very much similar to the process of learning a language. You don’t even understand but you go on to adapt to it.
But, is it restricted? Well, are humans restricted to learning just one language? No, right? The same goes for the feeling of comparison.
If you want to compare, compare yourself for the good. Instead of seeing people as your superiors, see them as your inspirations and work towards becoming as successful or maybe more than what they are.
It is all about how we perceive life. Anybody can tell you what to do and how to do it. But, it is ultimately you who got to do it. Nobody can do it for you. Therefore, accept yourself. Replace the thoughts of comparison with gratefulness. Embrace this journey called life. Learn from the hardships. And, do not forget to practice gratitude.
Stay warm and stay cozy.
See you soon!!!