How to play the comparison game
The comparison game. The worst game around where you really don’t ever stand a chance of winning and always feel worse afterwards. I know that in the past, I’ve done this and it feels awful. I remember thinking ‘why do you appear to be doing better than me, what am I doing wrong’? It’s a game that’s so easy to play but how do you stop feeling inferior when deep down you know that you’ve got it covered?
Remember, there will always be someone who is richer, smarter or more beautiful than you. Always. So the only person you really need to compare yourself to is you. We don’t have the ability to change anyone else. Look at where you were yesterday, last month or last year and see how you’ve changed. Equally, see it as a challenge. This is one moment in your life, a snapshot of where you’re at with your job or career. Think where you could be tomorrow, in one month or one year and focus on this rather than looking at what everyone else is doing in the here and now.
If what everyone else is doing is all over social media, take it with a pinch of salt. You will only ever see the good news, the happy photos, the great picture or the positive spin that is played out as no-one wants to admit that they’ve had a mediocre day or a less than great client meeting. Why would you shout that out to the world? People only want to brag about their successes. It's part of human nature. So use social media sparingly unless you need to for your work and be specific about what you click on. You can control what you see so look out for the things that make you feel more positive and less like you’re doing a rubbish job, especially don’t spend ages scrolling over endless images of curated perfection.
If you know that certain people press your buttons on the comparison front, avoid them. Not always literally but don’t follow them on social media and be prepared to take things that they say in the most positive light. They may do the same job as you or you recognise something of yourself in them. The image we put across to the world may be very different to reality. These people may seem like they have got everything sorted out but at the end of the day, what goes on behind closed doors is a very different thing. In fact, they may go home and sit down at their kitchen table whilst comparing themselves to you.
Ultimately, don’t focus on what you don’t have, only focus on the things that you do. This is really the only area that we can control, our own strengths. Focus on what you do best and who knows, tomorrow, next month or in a years time, you could be somewhere magnificent.