Unknowingly, we have fallen into the comparison trap in every aspect of our life. The number of categories in which we can compare ourselves to others is many like our marks, salaries, our standard of living, or our social media profiles. This article discusses 7 simple and effective ways by which we can avoid this disastrous habit of comparison, and get rid of the Comparison Trap.


What is the Comparison Trap?

It is the habit of comparing or measuring your qualities with others, in different areas of life like career, wealth, health, relationship, looks, etc.

Have you ever compared yourself to others? If your answer is, “Yes often!” then think again. Because the correct answer to this question is “Yes always!”

In schools, we compared our marks, in jobs we compare our salaries. In society, we compare our lifestyles and this cycle continues till the last breath of life. Even in old age, our health is compared to who live longer!

WOW! how beautifully do we waste half of our precious time while thinking about what others have which we don’t?

What is the danger of The Comparison Trap?

He has the best career and I am an idiot”. “Why don’t I own a dress like her?“.

women stuck in comparison trap

This comparison trap gradually leads us to huge disappointments, insecurities, jealousy, and other such negative emotions. It’s a never-ending trap that always focuses on what or where we are lacking. Most of the time, it promotes dirty competition.

It not only kills our happiness but also affects our confidence and self-esteem, making us feel miserable. Hence, it becomes essential to get rid of this trap to lead a peaceful life.

How do I get out of the comparison trap?

Since Comparison is inculcated in us from our childhood, it is almost unavoidable. Still, the resulting emotions of envy, unhappiness, disgust, and dissatisfaction are not too impossible to control. With these simple steps, you can try your best to come out of this trap quickly.

1. Understand your worth

The best way to get rid of comparison with others is just to compare yourself with yourself. You recognize your worth only when you compare and compete with yourself.

Compare yourself with your previous scores instead of comparing yourself to others’ scores. The desire for a better job is okay but seeking out a certain thing just because your friend has that, is not. Your focus should be on becoming a better person than you were a moment ago. The beauty lies in being yourself, in originality, not in copying others.

discover yourself to avoid comparison

So, instead of wasting time comparing your path to someone else’s, spend it investing, creating, and caring for your own. Ask yourself what your strengths are. Feel good about them and work on using them to your best advantage.

2. Scrolling is okay, stressful scrolling is not!

Social media was designed with the prime objective to connect even when we are distant apart.  But sadly and gradually, it has become a way to disconnect us from realities. The prevalence of social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram has made things even worse.

social-media consuming our energy

Today we have become so much addicted to this virtual world, that we fail to understand the difference between real and virtual life.

Nobody’s life is as perfect as they show on social media. Nobody looks as superb as their display pictures on different social sites. Moreover, #feeling_happy doesn’t mean they don’t have any problems in their lives.

Every day as we scroll through our news feed, we come across such hashtags which further push us to the comparison trap. Instead of working on ways to solve real-life problems, today’s youth can be seen devastated and discouraged by the number of likes and followers they have. Ask yourself, what have you become? More connected or more isolated!

Avoiding social media!

You will be stuck in the comparison trap forever if you overuse social media. By overuse, I mean engaging in most of the updates in the feeds. Therefore, it becomes necessary to limit the use of social media. However, this is not an easy method as described, especially for today’s youth.

Ask yourself, can you live without your phone even for a single day? No matter how serious or mature a person you are, you will have at least one application on your phone which will direct you towards the comparison trap. And if I am wrong, then Congratulations! You are much closer to avoiding this serious disease of mankind.

So now, coming to the solutions; if it is neither easy then it’s neither too difficult as well. You just have to filter the contents you follow on social media. Replace your news feed with positive people and positive vibes. Unfollow the people or posts that put your morale down. Cleanliness is important both in the real and virtual world. It’s as simple as that. Then you can easily scroll without stress and can avoid this trap of despair and negativity. Learn to use social media like a pro.

3. Focus on self-care

Comparison is an act of violence committed against one’s self.

Clyde Lee Dennis

Tell a better story to yourself, rather than being upset about others’ vacation photos or stories. A story of optimism, hope, happiness, opportunities, and strength. Your self-talks highly determine your thoughts and actions. Make sure that you practice the habit of affirmative self-talk.

4. Love more, Hate less

“He must be lucky enough to clear UPSC in the very first attempt”.

“How could she secure a better job, she is no way more talented than me?”

comparison trap-people-trophy

We don’t leave even a single way to judge someone. It’s rare to find people who are genuinely happy over someone’s achievements. In place of appreciating someone, we start finding several reasons to prove our ego right and their achievements wrong.

Why do we always have a reason to find fault in others? Why don’t we value their efforts?

Spread the fragrance of love everywhere, instead of spreading the aura of hatred and jealousy.

Only then, you can achieve your inner mental peace.

5. Count your blessings

Be grateful for what you have. You own a lot of things or talents which others lack. Why don’t you appreciate those? Count what you have, not what you don’t.

6. Accept what you are and where you are.

Accept your present and be in the present. Stop oscillating between your past and future thoughts.

You will always find someone who is taller, prettier, smarter, and better. Don’t allow others’ timelines to affect you. Realize that you’re not perfect. Free yourself by embracing the fact that you’re perfectly imperfect.

Avoid using the phrase “I wish”.

“I wish I could be as pretty as her”. “I wish I could make more money than him”.

And this list of “I wish this, I wish that” continues. The most disappointing word of the universe is WISH because it ignites countless desires within us which do not have an end. Our wishes end the day when we take our last breath.

Practice more satisfaction in place of your wishes. When you are more satisfied with your life, there will be less urge for comparison.

7. Everything and everyone works according to their time zones.

It’s a universal fact that a child is born after 9 months of pregnancy. No matter how excited a woman becomes for the birth of her child, she has to wait for those 9 months. Now, if she starts comparing her to other women regarding the number of mood swings or why was another’s child born 1st and she’s 20 days later, that’s complete stupidity and illogical too.

Some plants bear fruits within a shorter interval of time while others like a mango tree may take longer to do the same. Should they be compared regarding why trees take a longer time to do so? NO, a big NO!

The same logic is applied in our lives. If you are not getting something which you desire, while others already have it; it doesn’t mean you are late. Neither they are early nor you are late. The fact is only the difference between your time zones. You are working in your time zone and they are in theirs. So, there is no need for comparison.

Final Thoughts

Life is not a competition. It’s a journey. Our journey of life is completely our responsibility. It has nothing to do with how well others are doing. You are a completely different person with different ambitions, perspectives, priorities, beliefs, skills, and experiences. And it makes no sense to compare yourselves to others.

The comparison trap is when you are unhappy with what you have because it does not measure up to the expectations of others around you.

A comparison should be on similar things like you can compare between two mangoes; which is sweeter? Or which smells better? But what’s the point of comparing a mango with guava? If God has created you like a mango; why do you waste your time trying to become guava?

We all are different from one another but unique in our own ways. Our natures, looks, likes, dislikes all are different. Then why and where comes the need for comparison?

If you can answer the above questions, then you can save yourself from falling into the disastrous ‘Comparison Trap’.

STOP COMPARING, START ACCEPTING!

Author

A lover of nature, reading and writing

8 Comments

  1. Ashutosh Mishra Reply

    Didi hi actually i always get cought in this trap and then never come out of this instead i start fighting why people just keep on comparing me with the others

    • Hi Ashutosh, I understand how you must be feeling. But, fighting is not the solution to your problem. For how long will you keep on fighting? At present, you are a student. As you grow up, you will realize that you are caught in this trap in every area of your life, both on a personal and professional level. What will you do?
      Moreover, you can fight with your friends or yourself but what about your parents or elders? Do you thing fighting or arguing will work then?
      Don’t be so concerned about other’s opinion that you forget your own self. The one who compares you with others don’t know you on that level as you know yourself. Just focus on being the better version of yourself. Everything will automatically work out then.
      Your marks or skills should matter only to yourself not to others. Practice the 7 steps as discussed above, apart from this and make sure comparison should not harm you. I know very well that coming out of this trap is not easy but it’s not as impossible as you think.
      Hope it helps. Be happy.

  2. Amazing Sweta …a very nice writing and a wonderful potrayal of the problem of this generation and its solution…keep it up.

  3. Cedric Noronha Reply

    Very good post. Highly informative. Nicely written. Keep up the good work.

  4. Cedric Noronha Reply

    Very good post. Highly informative. Nicely written. Keep up the good work.

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