The Comparison Game

We all know this game--the one that robs you of your joy in a split second and tells you what you are or have isn't good enough. The game where you're happy with your job, clothes, or car until you see someone else with a better job, cuter clothes, and nicer car. The game where so proud to be sending your family on a vacation to Colorado, until your neighbor tells you they are going to Greece this summer. The game where bigger, better, faster, stronger is the undertone of each thought that goes through your head. The hardest part about this game is it's everywhere, it's engrained in us from the moment you could talk, and it's not going anywhere soon. Let's face it, social media is one of the worst advances when it comes to comparison and scrolling through those feeds also leaves us alone, shameful, and embarrassed of what we have, what we are doing, or who we are or are not. Regardless of us knowing that comparing our life to others is not helpful, it's still a daily practice to resist the impact it can have on your life. Here are a few techniques to practice in order to stay out of this game:

  1. Practice gratitude- recognizing and being thankful for what you have can help prevent you from being upset about what you don't. 
  2. Detox from social media- take a break from it and work to be present.
  3. Practice empathy and offer joy to others- work to be happy about your neighbor's vacation rather than take it as a personal attack on your vacation.
  4. Everything is not as you see it- remember that things aren't as they seem and consistently remind yourself that you only know half of the story.  
  5. Water your own grass- when we focus on others, we lose time that could be spent growing our own character, life, or dreams. Remember that you can keep moving if you choose to set goals and fulfill those and focusing less on others gives you more time to do just that.
  6. You can't compare apples to oranges- comparison in and of itself is among to things that are exactly the same with no other variables. If we know this, then why do we compare ourselves to our friend who has an entirely different life experience? No one had our upbringing, our parents, our traumas, our financial situations, our love life, our emotions, and our difficulties. There are dozens of other variables that make circumstances different for each individual and we cannot minimize the impact of those on our life and in shaping our outcomes.
  7. Be inspired- use comparison to motivate you to be the best version of yourself.
  8. Compare yourself with yourself- choose to compare yourself with who you were yesterday compared to who you are today and work to improve each and every day.