The Other Side of Comparison? (Getting Bitter or Getting Better)

Has anybody ever told you that you shouldn’t compare yourself with others? 

I would mostly agree. It can be dangerous and damaging.  

But personally I have found that trying not to compare yourself with others is like trying not to think of a pink elephant (you’re doing it right now aren’t you?). 

Our lives are surrounded by stimulus for comparison every where we go, every day. We drive past a billboard and feel insecure about our body image. We open social media and there’s somebody with a new job, house or car. We check LinkedIn and there’s somebody with a new program, new promotion or new opportunity that has us looking sideways rather than running our own race.

It seems almost impossible to escape comparison. 

But what if rather than trying to escape it, we decided to use it to produce something good in us? What if there was a better side of comparison? What would it look like?  

Perhaps rather than getting bitter through comparison it would look like the decision to get better

What if rather than comparing yourself with another person’s talents and getting discouraged, you chose to look at the good qualities you aspire to in that person and make the decision to do the work in yourself to become better? 

Comparison travels into dangerous territory when it produces in us the desire for something of which we cannot or should not attain to. 

If comparison does have a better side, I believe it should bring out the best in us, not the worst. It should help us become the best version of ourself rather than a copy of another. It should never make us feel inferior but inspire us to be the best we can be. 

Here are a some questions to ask when we catch ourselves in comparison: 

  1. What are the good qualities in this person that I can aspire to? 
  2. How can this make me better? 
  3. How can I appreciate the achievement of this person and not become bitter?  
  4. Am I comparing my ‘work in progress’ to another persons finished product? 
  5. I am grateful for_________

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