The Trap of Comparison

By October 3, 2016Relationship & Life
trap-comparison

Have you ever gone on Instagram and noticed how everyone else’s life looks more fun, romantic, luxurious and sexier than yours? It’s horrible. Even their dogs are cuter than yours.

We compare ourselves everyday at every moment. Every photo, conversation, job meeting and even thoughts, are a non-stop reminder that what we have and who we are is not enough.

You can imagine where we’re going with this.

But don’t stop reading.

It’s never been easier to take our lives into the cruel trap of comparison. It’s never been easier to feel inadequate, irrelevant and insufficient.

It has to stop. For you. For us. For everyone.

The Problem with Comparison

It’s impossible to win the game of comparison. That’s because you are stacking yourself against an illusion. It’s your whole life against everyone’s highlights and staged moments. The beauty of your imperfect life against the illusion of a perfect life.  

comparison

But it’s painful.

To see the things you don’t have and the places you’re not visiting hurts. We don’t care that celebrities can make and unmake their lives, money and relationships how they want. That’s not who we are comparing ourselves to.

It’s those that are closer to us. People who are only a few steps ahead of us. People who we’ve known for years and had a similar life we had and yet, their current lives look better than ours.

It stings.

But what if you’re only looking at part of picture? What if you are being unfair with yourself and the person you compare your life to? What if when you compare yourself to others, you are missing out on an opportunity to turn it into become the best version of you?

Signs You’ve Fallen Into the Comparison Trap

How do you know if you’ve fallen into the comparison trap? It’s all about attitude and language. The words that come out of your mouth are a reflection of how you see yourself and others.

We’re gonna show you some examples. We don’t say these as a way to judge you. We just think that the more aware you are about your life, the easier it is to push yourself to where you want to be.

Here are some common signs to look out for:

  • You feel miserable about yourself when people close to you succeed, or you find negative implications about their success. For example: “Sure, she got a raise, but now she won’t have time to have a life.” Or “I’m happy for him, but I don’t think his motives are right.”
  • You are terrified of taking risks. Because if you fail, you’ll have another reason to look bad compared to others who took risks and succeeded.
  • You are always the one that says why an idea won’t work. Pretty much the same reason as above.
  • You can’t enjoy a good day. You’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Comparison measures your life on how close it looks to other people. Because of that, a good day is never enough (if it stays good), or you become paranoid about it.
  • You feel like a victim. Because comparison is an endless void, you feel powerless. Notice we said feel, not become. You are not powerless.

Here’s the big idea we’re trying to sell you here: imagine your life and your friends’ and family’s life if you focused on everything that is possible. The kind of life where the things you don’t have become goals and not obstacles.

In that place of abundance, the impossible becomes logical.

Celebrating success acknowledges that winning is never accidental. Click To Tweet

Set Yourself Free from Comparison

Comparing yourself is not a real strategy for succeeding. It might be the only reason why you feel stuck.

  • Celebrate people’s success for real. When you celebrate people’s victories, you become immune to comparison. It works because you stop being threatened by success around you. Celebrating success acknowledges that winning is never accidental. If winning was accidental, there would be no reason to work hard. It would be a matter of luck. But you don’t rely on luck. By giving credit to another person succeeding, you learn to give yourself credit for your own victories.
  • Become the Most Generous Person in the World. We’re not talking about donating money to charity —though you should consider it. But realize that whenever any of your friends need help or advice and you can provide it, you already have much. Being generous kills comparison because it changes your focus from who has more to who needs more.
  • Remember the Thumperian Principle. This principle is based on Bambi. Yes, seriously. You’re getting life coaching from Bambi. Remember the rabbit? His name was Thumper. He famously said: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” Well, that worked when we were kids, but we’re grownups now. Here’s how adult Thumper would say it: “If you can’t say something nice, find something nice to say.”
    When you learn to say only positive things to people, you get used to a language of growth and abundance. It’s like rewiring your brain into noticing how awesome life and people are.
“If you can’t say something nice, find something nice to say.” Click To Tweet
  • Disconnect. The problem with comparing yourself is you can never win. There’s always gonna be someone with more money, time, success, or whatever it is you define your success by. Here’s a radical approach: Take a break from all social media. Seriously. Nothing will free you from the comparison trap than not seeing how your friend is traveling around the world while you wonder how he can afford it. Or the girl who always looks perfect on Instagram. You’re done with that and moving forward to better days.
  • Turn the Comparison Trap on its Nasty Head. Another way to escape the comparison trap is to turn it around. When you compare yourself to others, other people are setting the bar for you. Instead, compare others to yourself. Now you are the standard. You are the one who is working to become better in every aspect of your life. You’re the one who has goals and relationships and ideas. You are doing a lot that people never do.
    Be careful though. Don’t turn this into reasons to become arrogant. This isn’t a tool to feel superior, but a way to realize how awesome you are.
  • Learn to Look in the Mirror. Sometimes the reason why we compare ourselves to others is because we are not sure who we are or what we want. In those cases, comparison is not self-deprecation, but an attempt at self-development. The problem is comparison never helped anyone.  

generosityWhat’s absurd about comparison is that no matter how many people you compare your life to, there’s always someone who compares their lives to yours. So chin up, clear your head of comparison and live the best life you can.

Break Free from The Comparison Trap

We know it’s hard. We coach a lot of people who have found ways to break free from the trap and now live happier, more fulfilling lives. We can help you too. If you want a coach to guide you to identify your comparison triggers and develop a plan to overcome them, just contact us and we’ll set you up with a coach.