There are two major types of social comparison: upward comparison, when people compare themselves to people who are better than they are, and downward comparison, when people compare themselves to those who are less proficient than they are. Both upward and downward comparisons have strengths and weaknesses and in some ways unavoidable; our minds want to quantify. Our minds want to rank and file and organise information and understand where we fit into the scheme of things.
I think if we can be more aware of how we are comparing ourselves, we can take back some control and use it to our advantage. There is no denying that we all do it, so if you tell yourself you don’t, then you’re kidding yourself. Comparison can also be a liar who says your best won’t ever be good enough. Especially in the world of Instagram realities, measuring your success through comparison is an easy way to feel unhappy.
The best way to stop comparison’s green monster from taking hold is to focus on your own path. Use that comparison energy for your own life. You can learn to redirect the comparison to a past and a present self and keep the comparison within.
“We last longer if we compete against ourselves for the good of others instead of competing against others for the good of ourselves.”
We are always becoming more. Who you are today is a result of the decisions you made yesterday. We are always in a state of creation if we choose to be. And be sure to be kind to yourself. This is radical self motivation in the most nurturing way with positive self talk and behaviours. Ask yourself these questions if you need some prompting;
Through community we can expand our individual shared identities. We are separate AND one community, and through each other, we learn more about ourselves. Nurturing relationships can help us see our interior world in the larger context and a shared space can be a platform to lift off from and come back to when needed.
Let’s stop comparing ourselves to each other and start competing with ourselves and cheer on one another from the sidelines.
How do you compete with yourself? Would love to hear from you.
by Dani Trudeau