Comparing our lives to someone and even everybody else’s lives may have been a habit that has been formed since we were little. We are often told that following the masses will ensure our survival. It is mentioned in social comparison theory that we compare ourselves to other people as a way to measure our social and personal worth. We often do this to keep track on how we are doing in life (financial, attractiveness, intelligence, and success). Even though comparison can let you know how you are doing in society, this can actually be harmful. Why? Here are the 4 reasons that can help you see why.
1. We are all different
Genetically, it has been found that none of us are exactly 100% the same, not even monozygotic twins or more commonly known as identical twins. With that in mind, can we really compare our lives 100% with someone? Not really. To an extent, I think it is possible and it is appropriate for us to do it. Before we compare ourselves to someone else, try to keep in mind that it is not going to work unless we have some aspects that are similar or the same with that person. We are made up of different habits, countries where we come from, family upbringing, financial and social status, and so many more attributes. Instead of comparing yourself fully with someone else, try to use this comparison as a way to learn from him or her.
2. We all have our own paths to chase
Yes, we all have our own paths that we are meant to chase. We all have different dreams and since our dreams or passion differ, each of us may have to face different kind of struggles along the way. Some may succeed or achieve their dreams earlier and maybe some achieve it later in life. This situation actually occurs to a lot of people. Not only can success occur later in life, some people also had to go through difficult phases in life before they can reach the height of their success. For example: Samuel L. Jackson, the famous film actor that you may recognise in the Star Wars franchise as Mace Windu, was 46 years old when he become a household name in Hollywood after he starred in the famous cult film, Pulp Fiction. It turns out that he was also in recovery from heroin and cocaine addiction at that time. This can show that success does not always come early in life and there are some processes that he has to go through along the way.
3. “I think that other people are happier than me.”
Sometimes, when we compare ourselves with someone else, we often think that people have better lives than us. Everyone seems to be living happy lives and we are the only ones that are miserable. Well, the truth is, we are not the only one who thinks that. Everyone else does too. Secretly, we all sometimes and even often wish that we could have other people’s lives. But, are their lives actually better than ours? It turns out that it may not be the case. Research found that we often underestimate other people’s pain and that we have an unrealistic perception that everyone else is doing better than us.
Just because someone puts a happy face all the time or does not really write their problems on social media or even tell other people about what they are going through, does not make them the happiest person in the world. Believe me when I told you that all of us are secretly struggling with some things even maybe a whole lot of them. So, before you point out that you are the least happy person in this world, please realise that we all have problems that we have to face and we are not the only that are confused about our lives, other people are too. We just do not know it yet because we have not live their lives yet.
4. A grateful heart is the key to a happier life
Instead of complaining or feeling down, try to be more grateful. Being grateful does not mean that you forget your problems, let alone escape them. Being grateful means that you are being kind to yourself and to always have a positive mindset in any of your circumstances. Being grateful also gives you the chance to accept yourself as who you really are, it makes you accept your strengths and limitations as a gift that you can always develop. If you only focus on your problems or miseries, you will always think that you have a bad day and instead of using everyday as it is your last, you end up wasting your time and even years to complain and you also carry a lot of unnecessary pain that you can avoid if only you choose to enjoy living every single moment of your life, no matter how difficult the circumstances may be.
Hey, your happiness is your choice
To conclude this article, I just want to state that, some of us may only complain that we are not living a good life and how we wish that we had someone else’s life instead of the life that we have now. Remember, this is a battle that you cannot win. Why? If we keep on comparing ourselves to someone else or even to everyone else, we will always be at a constant war with ourselves and it would never help us reach any of our goals.
Instead of wasting your time and your peace of mind and heart by thinking that someone else has a better life than you, why don’t you start making a better life for yourself? Why don’t you go out there and do what you should be doing? Why can’t you learn the tips or techniques that other people have done if you want to have a better life? And again, are you sure that they have a better life than you? Remember, if you are never grateful for the qualities that you have, you will end up wasting them without realizing that they are the keys for you to live a happy and successful life. Your self-worth is never determined by what people say about you or what other people have achieved; it is determined by you simply being your authentic self. In the end, why compare yourself to others? Please remember, no one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you. So, start being you and start living the life that you want it to be.
Do you like to compare yourself with other people? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.
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