Do we benefit or lose when we compare ourselves to others? Is it good to compare to get a better sense of self or does that act simply push us further away from self [and others]?
- We compare what we are not… I’m not strong enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not skinny enough.
- We compare what we don’t have… I don’t have a car. I don’t have an outlet. I don’t have a good job. I don’t have a significant other. I don’t have friends. I don’t have energy.
- We compare where we are not… I’m not as successful as my peers. I don’t have a place of my own. I am not where I predicted I’d be at this point in my life.
- We compare our present to our past… Life was easier. I was healthier. I could run for miles. I could eat anything and not gain a pound. I was happier. Growing up sucks.
Any type of comparison is negative – it builds, defends, or hurts the Ego. You are not your Ego… the Ego is a part of you and it’s good to know when you are calling the shots and when your Ego takes charge. The Ego is a culmination of expectations, assumptions, judgements, predictions, and shameful events of the past. The Ego can protect us, but it can also blind us. Even those comparisons where we label ourselves above self and others – I am stronger, I am smarter, I am healthier, I am prettier – are all ego-boosting judgements and don’t really help anything in the long run. To think that you are better than someone else or better than your past self pushes you further away from a true reality – we are all equals and you are equal to your past self because it is a part of who you are, not who you aren’t.
- Are you able to accept yourself the way that you are? If not, why?
- Are you able to not judge, not assume, not expect, not predict, and not shame self or others? If not, why? Can you take note of when you do and why that occurs?
- Are you able to be happy regardless of who, where, or what you are? If not, why?
- How do you define happy? What makes you unhappy? What isn’t enough? What are you lacking? What are you comparing? Why are you comparing?
It’s good to take perspective on yourself and others. It’s good to know who, what, and where you are not, but that should not define who you are. We all grow, evolve, and mature at different rates, times, and ages. Don’t let your Ego prevent you or your perspective of others from being.