Sometimes we watch people “come up” and the green-eyed monster shows up on our shoulders making us wonder why they are getting the things that we have been longing for. Friends are getting new jobs, new lovers, getting engaged or married, having babies, buying nice things, becoming famous, getting promoted and/or getting recognized.
We can look at what is going on in their lives and not feel negative emotions. It’s possible! You can admire what you see happening in their lives without questioning your own success. Economists and psychologists call it downward comparison. If you compare upward about things you can’t change, then you’re just going to feel stuck. No Bueno!
Comparing ourselves to others does not have to be an unhealthy, negative practice. It doesn’t have to be self-loathing or full of jealousy. Comparing yourself can be productive…say whaaaaaaat?!
There are pros and cons to this thing right? It is not good if we are trying to gain a sense of superiority or avoiding challenging yourself to do better. Or comparison can remind us of our own fortune…it serves as a reality check.
It can motivate us, give a different perspective, and make us appreciate our lives. Comparison can lead to some incredible breakthroughs.
I know this sounds completely unusual. The internet and popular opinion say that we should stop comparing ourselves to others. There are so so many articles out there that tell you why you shouldn’t compare…and I agree with their points. This is just another way to look at a comparison.
Honestly, we should definitely delight in the success, well-being, and growth of our loved ones. A little comparison can cause a light to go off in your head…your life and motivate you to not only aim higher but to put some action to it. Celebrating others and comparing may help us see where we are, how far we have come and that we should be celebrated too. It can show us that we are worthy of more and push us forward.
When you see others win, you realize that you deserve more too, that you can grow as well, your time may come later but you are still worthy of your heart’s desire if it lines up with your destiny.
This is something that I have been working on for a while and it really has kept me on track. I do not have envy in my life. I feel good about who I am becoming. I spend less time being self-deprecating (not all the way there yet- this will be a long journey for me) and it feels good to have less negative emotions flowing through me.
After comparing yourself, you may look yourself in the face and affirm your values, your own worth, and even bigger, what you want out of life.
In the book, Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holidays says, “Stare at it until you can. Only then you will understand what matters and what doesn’t. Only then can you say no, can you opt out of stupid races that don’t matter, or even exist.
Stare at it…
Look at it…
Soak in it…
Own your feelings! The more we look at other people and compare our movements with theirs, we will look at where we are and where we wanna be. You will understand what matters to you and what doesn’t. You will learn your worth and act accordingly…