Comparison kills. Our spirit, our confidence, our creativity… all of what is good and lovely and enjoyable and worth something to us in our lives?
Comparison just steamrolls over it when we let it and I know this isn’t brand new information. We’re grown ass people, you and I, we know the pitfalls of comparing ourselves to others by now! Yet, we still let it get the better of us from time to time… and if we’re brutally honest, all too often.
To be fair to us, it’s hard not to. If you have a phone or computer accessible to you throughout most of your day, well, that technology is literally designed to encourage you to compare. Haven’t you seen The Social Dilemma?! All the imagery we see and products we’re exposed to when we’re using our phones are designed to be relatable and accessible to us but still just out of reach. Maintaining that similar but slightly more aspirational suggested content keeps us clicking and ultimately, spending.
I am constantly bombarded with pictures and videos of females who look somewhat like me, have families that look somewhat like mine, are a similar age, have a similar career, have similar style and tastes to me, etc. BUT (and you know there’s always a but…) they have this, or did that and damn it looks good! Spiral incoming, watch out!
There’s always brands at the top of my budget or just outside of what I’m comfortable spending being advertised to me that are 100% my style or what I’ve at some point or another mentioned that I’m currently in the market for. Eerie, Siri. There’s always other people living there best life the way I would want to live mine if I had the time, money or freedom to filling my explore feeds and coming up recommended. Ouch! But also, hard to resist!
It’s super hard not to go down the rabbit hole and window shop other people’s lives and honestly, it’s normal. Comparing oneself to another person has always existed. The severity of the effects of comparison have certainly worsened with modern day technologies and I heard it put into perspective so simply on a podcast recently.
Why the comparison game is so much more toxic now is because back in our parents’ day, people compared themselves to their neighbors. They looked down the hall or down the street or around the garden at a backyard BBQ and did the comparing.
These days, thanks to having accessibility to anyone and everyone at our fingertips all day long, we compare ourselves to people across the globe. People who live in states or countries with different standards of living to us. People who do completely different things for a living. People with rich ass parents or spouses who we know nothing about. People who would not live down the hall or down the street from us. The people we often compare ourselves to would not be our neighbors at all. We compare ourselves to the Kardashians, for fuck’s sake! That’s a ridiculous expectation to put on yourself.
Now, I don’t know your life. The people who wear the latest Fendi and Gucci and drive the Range Rover and live in the mega mansion may very well be your neighbors, but if you poke your head out your front door today and they’re not? Take a good look around and get a grip. You’re doing just fine, baby!! The kind of people who can comfortably own that kind of fancy stuff have to be making millions of dollars every year. That income level goes so far beyond middle class. It’s actually far beyond upper class, which starts at $120k and caps out around $370k. It’s just straight up fucking astronomically rich. If that’s what you aspire to be in your life, that’s cool. If you want that for you, I want that for you. But if it’s not where you’re at today, don’t compare yourself to it. It’s like comparing apples and solid gold broccoli or something. LOL
How to Avoid Falling into This Trap?
- Mentally Check Yourself. You can still enjoy window shopping the products and lives of the Kardashians or whoever the fuck else you want but mentally note the vast expanse between your universes.
- Someone Else’s More isn’t Your Less. The negative feelings that come from comparison often center around a feeling of limitation or lack. There’s enough abundance of everything to go around for everyone. Someone having something doesn’t mean there’s less of it for you to have and it also doesn’t subtract from who you are and what you do have. Make sense?
- What’s Mine isn’t Yours and Vice Versa. We all throw around the phrase “everything happens for a reason” without truly meaning or believing it. Even if you struggle to commit, pretend you do for a second and watch that alleviate the tension comparison can bring. What’s meant for you, is already yours, whether it’s happened yet or not. What’s meant for someone else, is theirs. Whatever’s coming your way is going to be greater than anything someone else has or experiences because it is meant for you.
- Take a Break. Ain’t no shame in the checking out of social media to get back in touch with reality game. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking that the whole world exists within the universe of our phones. But it doesn’t! It’s actually outside. With real people and natural beauty and all kinds of things more special and untouchable than any man-made technology designed to drive ya nuts! Go enjoy it.
- Follow and Engage with People That Make You Feel Good. We’re our own worst enemies sometimes. If you’re able to draw that line and you enjoy following people of all kinds of different and aspirational walks of life, power to you! But if it doesn’t feel good? Don’t do it. Click unfollow. You won’t miss ‘em, I promise. It’s important to do a little feed cleanse every now and then. Make sure you surround yourself with people in the digital world as intentionally as who you surrounded yourself with in real life.
- Gratitude + Pride. Gratitude lists are important as hell. Exercise that daily practice and try adding a little pride list into the mix while you’re at it. The power of not only expressing gratitude for what you have but also, what you are proud of yourself for will truly change your day and the level of confidence you walk through life with.
What belongs to someone else was never yours to have. What’s meant for you is yours already and it is greater than what anyone else has got because it’s yours. That’s the only way it will ever be so enjoy it. The only person it’s reasonable to compare yourself to or compete with is yourself so celebrate what you’ve done, enjoy what you’ve got and get excited about where you’re going!
Are you ready to learn more about yourself, what you’ve got and where you’re going? I have a FREE 12-day program to help you with this! My “Go Your Own Way” program is delivered straight to your inbox for 12 days and in just a few minutes each day, you can practice loving what you’ve got and being grateful for your life. You’ve got this!
Shenae Grimes-Beech is an actor and YouTuber with a highly engaged community of like-minded women who are here to stand up for what they believe in and lean into discomfort, especially when it means doing the right thing.