Updated: Aug 21, 2020
said Theodore Roosevelt and he was right.
I know, I know...we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others but it's easier said than done especially in this day and age of social media where everything is online for all to see but it's also incredibly difficult to distinguish what is truth, what is a very stretched and often exaggerated version of the truth and what is a complete fabricated lie...be it number of followers (who aren't paid for), job title, salary...the list goes on.
I personally thought I was above it. I would look through social media in a nonchalant non-judgmental this is not going to affect me kind of way. I would convince myself that I was simply using it for inspiration, to keep in touch but occasionally, it did affect me.
An example of this is when I saw good people being treated not so very well by people who were purely driven by their own ego's and hidden agendas. A quick scroll through their social media profiles, they were the ones who 'seemed' to always land on their feet or even get promoted. They were the ones who happen to also be doing very well in life even after leaving a trial of destruction in their wake...it always triggered the worse side of me.
I would see myself falling into this pattern of negativity and behaviour that I myself would never tolerate in a workplace or at home. I recognised that the worst version of myself came out when I saw unfairness and injustice play out...but who the hell am I to judge?! I have little to no insight into their lives and I certainly do not know what they're thinking or what they have been through - who was I to compare or judge their situation to mine or others?!
I quickly realised that comparison is generally the fastest way to unhappiness, a recipe for disaster and all it does is keep you focused on your own or others inadequacies rather than seeing the good.
It is not necessarily a bad thing either when done in small controlled doses. For instance, when I started seeing others succeed where I had failed or they did something I was too scared to do...it wasn't envy that I felt, it actually drove the competitor in me to came out.
To give you a little insight into my personality and thinking...if you've been watching the Michael Jordan documentary, I always want to beat the competition and I want to win at all costs too. If someone was better than me at something or when someone told me I couldn't do something, I would try to prove them wrong. I would work hard, be the first one in, last one out, practiced and mastered my art and always tried to be a few steps ahead.
I believe it's all about where you direct your energy into and your intent - is it to hurt and harm others or to build and inspire?
Instead of directing it to 'poor me' or 'poor them' or 'thats unfair' thats unjust' and always complaining, I urge you to focus on you, on your own life and on changing your mindset and thinking. Thats what I did anyway. I spent time learning and growing, building resilience and, accepting my own and others unique gifts.
The other thing I did was focus only on what I could control and created coping mechanisms so when I was going down the ugly slippery slope of comparing myself to others I would stop, turn off social media or whatever I was doing and, reset.
I would then direct my energy elsewhere...usually that meant spending time helping others because once you do that, trust me, you won't have any time or energy to focus on comparing yourself to others, judging them and being unhappy.
Oh and if I must compare, I would compare myself to who I was yesterday...as I always strive to be the best version of myself each and every single day.
If all else fails, practice gratitude - roof over our heads, food to eat, family and friends to love and hug, having freedom and choices...that is so much more than what others have right now. Be grateful.
- Joana x
Joana is a natural born leader, strategist, problem solver, business partner & advisor, online business coach, employee & customer experience champion, people & culture advocate, HR leader, home decor & organisation enthusiast and, serious coffee drinker 😜
Her mission is to help startups and small businesses to grow and scale by transforming their employee and customer experience into something unique, exciting and extraordinary with the ultimate aim of creating viable and profitable organisations.
Her vision and mission is to inspire the next generation of servant and transformational leaders with her ultimate aim of changing the world one business and leader at a time - follow her quest and journey here!