How many times in your life have you been told to not compare yourself to other people? Probably once a week since you were old enough to talk. We’re all told that it’s not okay to be envious or driven by other people but nobody talks about the reality that we are always going to be comparing ourselves to others.
Human beings have the need to improve themselves all the time. We are always learning and being exposed to new things that change the way we think, act, speak, and present ourselves in general. This is because we are influenced by all of our surroundings. The strongest influence in our life is ultimately other people. The people around us have an incredible way of shaping the way we are without even trying to. In your life, I bet you have shaped the lives of thousands of people by just being you. Maybe you leave a waiter a really good tip and from that moment you turned their ho-hum day around and put them in a mood that radiated with everyone else they served that day. Your negative actions have shaped people’s lives too. For example, maybe the other day you dropped a piece of garbage on the ground and a bystander saw you do this and decided it was okay if they turned the streets into their own personal trash bins as well. You never know the way you will influence everyone you come into contact with. How many times have you been out and seen someone who appeared as an awful human being? Maybe they were yelling at a cashier or possibly they tripped someone on purpose and for the rest of the day you changed your actions because of the other people who influence you. The influence could have been positive or negative depending on the way you chose to perceive it.
This goes the same for when you compare yourself to other people. We all know it’s an incredibly unhealthy habit to have, but humans are creatures of habit and why stop now when we’re already so good at it? Let’s face the facts now. There will always be someone who is better than you. There will always be a more skilled writer, someone who is better looking than you, someone smarter, or someone with incredible time management. There’s no doubt that you have in fact, compared yourself to every one of these people. Is it because humans are innately self-destructive? Or is it because we have a constant drive to improve upon ourselves? In reality, it’s probably both. There is so much pressure to not compare yourself to other people and just be happy in your own self but if we’re being honest, it’s not going to happen. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, though. You can become the best version of yourself while still comparing yourself to other people. You can let your envy drive you into being the best version of yourself. For example, if you have a coworker who goes running every day at 4am, he’s probably a narcissist, and you are jealous of how self-motivated and fit he is. So because of that you start going on runs at 4am and as a result, you’ve now improved your health while also boosting your ego because of the awesome bragging rights.
I guess my whole point of this is to say that comparing yourself to others is inevitable, but you have a choice as to whether or not your comparisons will make you a better or worse person. It’s all about the way you perceive the world around you. This also includes the way you let others shape you. There will always be people who are better in some aspects of life that you just haven’t cracked yet. However, don’t forget that you have some special qualities, too. Ones that could make any other person, maybe just jealous enough to work harder.
Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!