Do you often compare yourself with others?
“That girl is much prettier than me. No wonder boys swoon over her.”
“Oh, he’s so confident. There’s no way people will take notice of me when he’s around.”
“Look how slim she is. I wish I could have her body.”
“See, I’m just a dung-head compared to him.”
It’s normal to feel uneasy around another prettier, richer and more talented individual. Even the richest and successful man on the planet feels worthless compared to someone at one point in his life.
The question is:
Is it necessary (or even healthy) for you to look at other men’s successes with wishful eyes?
Once learned the truth about what comparison really is, will you remain jealous of others’ success?
By the end of this blog post, I hope you can come up with your own answers.
Now, let me walk you through 6 reasons why comparing yourself with others is a losing game.
1. You only compare the worst of you with the best of others
If you are stuck in a dead-end job, will you feel jealous of a colleague in the same situation as you?
Chances are you won’t. You’re more likely to compare yourself with people superior to you in some way.
If you’re not so good-looking, you’ll feel anxious around a gorgeous friend who boys wait in line to date with.
If you only earn enough to scrape by, your neighbor’s Mercedes car will make you green with envy.
The truth is you only look at the best part of other people’s lives and compare it to the worst aspect of yours.
But this is a losing game. Much like challenging with a top chef in a cooking show when you only possess fundamental cooking skills. There’s no way you can win.
What you need to realize is that no one is a complete failure. Different people shine in different areas. You might not be the richest man in the world but you have a loving family with supporting wife and wonderful children. You might not be the prettiest girl in school, but you are funny, smart and kind.
The key is to play to your strengths. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you already have and live to your own potential.
2. You only see the victory, not the hardship they’ve been through
When you look at a successful person, you only see the expensive car he’s driving, the spacious house he lives in, the luxurious trips he goes on every weekend, etc. What you fail to see are the blood and tears he had shed to reach the point where he is now.
Any man with remarkable achievements used to struggle at some point in his life — he might have spent many sleepless nights on the couch of his parents’ home mapping a business plan, gave up family, friends, and personal joys for work, had people think he’s mad, risked deteriorating health, etc. in exchange for success.
How is it fair to compare yourself with other people’s victories without considering their past sacrifices?
Don’t just look at things from one perspective. Start seeing others’ success as inspiration to work harder on your goals. Try to learn as much as you can from successful people around you. Read their books, talk to them, work for them so that you not only benefit from their great insights but also avoid mistakes to reach your goals faster.
3. Success isn’t equal happiness
Many people work very hard to achieve something only to realize it’s not what they really want.
I know a girl who wanted to get into a prestigious med school more than anything else. She studied days and nights for it. Finally, her efforts paid off. She passed the exam with flying colors. But when I asked if she was happy about it, she just answered with a vague smile: “I don’t know”. It turned out she only took the exam for her parents (who always want her to be a doctor). It’s not what she wants in the first place.
Many a time we look at others’ achievements with a wishful eye. The girl who topped the board on a med school exam. A confident guy who can command everyone’s attention during a presentation. A friend who lives in his condo with a swimming pool, etc.
We don’t realize that these people are also filled with insecurity and discontentment. They’re not sure if they’ve taken the right path or what they truly want out of life.
Once we understand that everyone has their own problem, we won’t feel so small and incompetent about ourselves. We won’t try to keep up with the Joneses — the “shiny objects” of other people. We will be able to identify our core values and commit to activities that bring us genuine happiness.
4. You don’t really want what others have
It’s easy to get provoked by the substantial amount of money someone makes per day, the spacious home your neighbors live in, the glamorous dress that your friend wears at the party, etc.
You might be thinking:
“It would make me happy to drive home a Mercedes under jealousy eyes of my neighbors”
“I could outshine other girls at the party if I put on that glamorous dress”
“My life is fulfilled if I can live in such a beach house overlooking the sunrise”
But would you feel happy after achieving all these things?
Most likely, you won’t.
You only acquire them to feed your inflated hungry ego, not because you really want to.
But this only ends up in disappointment for true happiness comes from living in alignment with your core values, not others’.
So a good question to ask when you feel compelled to obtain what your friends, neighbors, or colleagues have is: “Do I really want this?”. Answer this will clarify whether you want something because it matches your value or to satisfy your ego.
5. You may lose sight of what you love
If you’re too busy competing with others, you don’t have time to discover what you love. You end up living other people’s lives instead of your own.
Perhaps you dream of becoming an artist, but see someone else earn a lot of money from another profession. So you abandon your dreams to chase the shiny objects. At first, you may feel satisfied with all the money you make. But soon you grow bored of your job because it’s not something you were born to do.
The lesson here is to be committed to what you love. Live with faith that you can achieve enormous success by doing what you love. Stop paying attention to get-rich-quick tips, tricks, hacks, etc. And stay laser-focus on your life mission. Remember you can achieve anything with your heart set on it.
6. You’ll get drowned in negative emotions
Jealousy fills your heart with hatred. You might, for example, grow resentful of a friend who is more successful than you and try to keep your distance from him. You might ignore, treat him poorly and as a result put your friendship at risk.
Jealousy also places you at a lower frequency. You’ll feel in a bad mood all day long and get drown in the sea of negative thoughts.
This takes a heavy toll on both your mental and physical health. You can no longer experience joy doing what you love. You may feel fatigued all the time and lacking the energy to carry out even the most basic task.
It’s quite a long post. But if you can take away only one thing, it should be this:
Don’t look at other men’s successes with wishful eyes. You know what you want and how to get it. Live in accordance with your core values and you can experience genuine happiness.