Today, we’re going to take a serious look at comparison – because guess what, comparison by itself is not a bad thing. But it can quickly become toxic. So today, you’ll learn why you might be comparing yourself to others and also find out some indicators that you might be comparing yourself to others that you didn’t even know you were doing.
Once you learn what your actions truly mean, you can take responsibility for them, and then shift positive energy into comparison to use it as a tool for growth.
Comparison is a natural human tendency. Comparison allows us to form a baseline for where we are in life versus where we want to be or where we’ve already been. It allows us to gauge how we measure up against our peers, our friends, our fellow students or colleagues, and even our past selves – which is valuable information for self-improvement and allows us to view progress and where we need to continue to improve.
Comparison is not a bad thing in general – it’s needed for progress and the quickest way to know where you land. In order to be successful, you need to know where you want to be and where you are now. Likely, you’ll need to consider where you started as well. However, as I said, comparison can quickly become toxic and completely deplete you of your joy.
There are two types of comparison: Upward comparison and downward comparison.
Upward comparison is when you compare yourself to people who are better than you are. (Wow, Kevin’s picture is way better than mine.)
Downward comparison is when you compare yourself to those who are less proficient than you are. (But at least my picture isn’t as bad as Shay’s – yikes, has she ever seen a giraffe?)
We compare upwards to people who are better at something than we are because we’re impatient. They have what we don’t yet. But we want it.
We compare downwards to people who are not as good at something as we are to try to make ourselves feel better about all the upward comparisons we put in our lives. Both forms are rooted in poor self-esteem and stem from lack. Hit up episode 7 for tips on developing healthy self-esteem because here I’m going to focus on lack.
So how do you fix it? TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!
It’s tough to take responsibility, but honestly, it’s such a relief that this is up to us to control. Listen, we’re not going to eliminate comparison – we do need it to gauge where we are in our progress – but we are going to shift our mindset around it. We can shift our negative view of comparison to a positive one and eliminate the negative self-talk, eliminate the idea of lack and begin to attract positivity around comparison if that’s where we lead our thoughts.
Wanna know how to take responsibility and not compare as much!? Check out my podcast for a deep dive into ways to be better!