You know that person on social media who you just can't help but look at their posts? Or that one peer or coworker who is always impeccably dressed and seems to have it all? We've all been there at one time or another, caught in the vicious cycle of comparing ourselves to them. Often times, we can get sucked into comparing just about anything from our looks, athletic accomplishments, academic achievements, talent, and to anything else that we perceive others as "being better" than us.
Comparisons, however, come with consequences; consequences that can damage our mental health, emotional health, self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth. So compare if you dare!
Consequences of Comparing:
- Most of the time we are comparing ourselves to an illusion. People may look like they have the perfect life on the outside, but we really have no idea what goes on behind closed doors and behind the face that they show to the world.
- It can breed more judgment and negativity towards others. Our lens in which we view others can become clouded and we can become bitter towards them.
- We can turn friends against us. Comparisons can cause us to stop celebrating others' successes. We stop being genuinely happy for others and start to creep towards feelings of jealousy and envy.
- We stop seeing people as human beings.
As I am one who always tries to look on the bright side and see the good in things, comparing can have its benefits.
Benefits of Comparing:
- It can help to motivate us to be a better version of our self. It can help to push us towards reaching personal goals and to strive for more.
- It can help us problem solve. We can consider other solutions that we may have never thought of. We can look at others and see how they made it through a challenge and achieved something they are proud of.
- It gives us the opportunity to build others up instead of knocking them down.
So why do get stuck in the thinking trap that leads us to believe that our self worth has to do with how we compare or measure up to others? It probably has something to do with the fact that we are always in competition with others from an early age. Whether it is in school or athletics, we strive to be the "best" and out perform others. As a society, we have been groomed to think this way. Don't get me wrong, competition is not a bad thing, but we need to be careful with our perception of it and how it applies to our self. Good news though, our self-worth has nothing to do with how we compare to others!
We ourselves have the power to determine our own self worth and no one else.
If you're struggling in the self worth department, here are
a few ways you can start building it up.
- Reassess your attitude towards yourself. If it's mostly negative, take steps to bring more positive thoughts into your day. "A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can't get anywhere unless you change it." -Unknown
- Don't be afraid to love yourself!
- Practice self-compassion. If you're kind to others, why can't you be kind to yourself?
- Stay true to your values.