Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
by Michael Teh
You feel your neighbour’s house is perfect, your friend is successful with a high-paying career and the stranger you see on social media, looks like she is living the perfect life. In the world we are living in today, it has become the norm and unconscious living to spend most of our waking hours scrolling through social media – seeing how others are living their best life while we are comparing ourselves to them. However, even prior to the creation of social media, competing with each other has been a basic function of the human condition which has brought harmful effect to oneself. Read further to learn how to stop comparing yourself with others and to lead a life that is of your own instead.
“In other words, self-improvement has nothing to do with the outer world and social comparing to others. However, look to others who can inspire you to be the better version of yourself, use them as a point of reference and let their inspiration help you realize in your reality through your own life experience.”
You feel your neighbour’s house is perfect, your friend is successful with a high-paying career and the stranger you see on social media, looks like she is living the perfect life.
In the world we are living in today, it has become the norm to spend most of our waking hours scrolling through social media – seeing how others are living their best life while we are unconsciously drawn to compare ourselves to them.
However, even prior to the creation of social media, humans have been long socially comparing themselves with each other which may bring forth harmful effects to oneself especially in health, both physically and psychologically.
That said, one may be constantly evaluating how he/she stacks up to others, in turn creating our-self image that is based on anything other than intrinsic factors which have harmful effects.
For one, by making social comparisons, it can have a devastating impact on your self-esteem, in particular when comparing something you’re insecure about or sensitive to. For e.g., if you suffer from bodily insecurities and follow but nothing but fitness accounts on social media, you may just be setting yourself up to fail and feeling worse about yourself as you’re unfairly comparing to someone who’s better, consciously or unconsciously.
The stress that comes from constantly making social comparison that deflates your self-esteem and hinders your self-image could also harm your physical health as well. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart diseases, hypertension and a weakened immune system. In addition, chronic stress could lead to psychological problems such as depressions and anxiety.
Having said that, some may argue that social comparison gives them the motivation to improve and be better than the past version of themselves, however, this isn’t true as the underlying wisdom and knowing is all about competing with your inner self
and consciously be the better version of yourself. In other words, self-improvement has nothing to do with the outer world and social comparing to others. However, look to others who can inspire you to be the better version of yourself, use them as a point of reference and let their inspiration help you realize in your reality through your own life experience. Philosophically speaking, underneath form and identity, there is no difference between us as we are all made from the same source.
Social comparison will more often than not lead you down the path of negativity – feeling of jealousy, envious, covetous and lowering of one’s self-esteem. You may believe it could give you the drive to compete and be better than others, but I can assure you, this path will not bring happiness despite what achievements you may obtain.
In my own experience, I would say that I am naturally a competitive person and I strive to be the best at whatever I do. Prior to discovering the journey of self-realization through meditation, I was unconsciously drawn to compete and compare myself with others and always measure success against the benchmark set by society.
It led me to down a path of constantly feeling stressed and emptiness no matter how much I had achieved. However, when the Universe opened me to the discovery of self through meditation, I started to begin to shift perceptions, thoughts and emotions.
There were so many realizations in the journey of discovering my true self where I soon I realized the natural tendency to compare with others arose because we are ignorant of our true nature, power and capability. To be ignorant is the biggest roadblock to self-realization. Hence, it is vital for us to cultivate the art of meditation, mindfulness and self-contemplation on a regular basis to discover the truth of our
structure as an evolved human being.
Through studying and understanding philosophy, it has helped me pave the way for my own self-discovery and to realize my true purpose in this lifetime. Additionally, through the discovery process, I realized that the best way to improve your life is by competing with reference to your inner self. Your true inner self is a mirror image of The Absolute – ever perfect, ever wise and ever pure. Through cultivating mindfulness, you can measure your thoughts, actions and words against that of your true inner self of the Absolute. If one can indeed do that on a daily basis, I ensure that it will guide you to a successful and happy life. Learn to stop socially comparing yourself with others by first learning how to slow down and learn to live with the flow of life.
This must be first achieved through mindfulness – which can be grasp through the art of meditation. This is because meditation allows us to detach from our daily stress, emotions, thoughts and outer senses that constantly stimulate your mind. When you learn to quiet down and relax, you’d find your natural ability to live and enjoy life. More often than not, when you are at peace, you are naturally led to live a life of higher potentials that will bring forth more success, abundance, happiness and fulfilment.
Part of the article was referenced from chopra.com.