Why Do I Compare Myself to Others?
Many of us keep comparing ourselves to others day in day out. Who is looking better than me? Who is more athletic? Who is a better chef? Who gets more attention than me? Who is more successful than me? Who is luckier in life? If only I could XYZ as well as …
Not only is this ongoing comparison the safest way to become unhappy, but it’s also one of the main driving forces behind perfectionism. You may ask now how comparing yourself is connected to perfectionism.
Most of us are not even aware that they are perfectionists. It is the feeling of never being good enough, it’s the urge to do more and more and of never being satisfied. It is the fear of criticism, ridicule, or being excluded that determines the perfectionists’ actions.
Constantly comparing ourselves to others is one of the main sources of compulsive perfectionism. It starts in our early years: We are confronted with role models that one should emulate in order to be considered a successful person.
Focus on YOUR Qualities, Talents, Desires, and Traits
Instead of concentrating on our qualities, talents, desires, and traits and developing them further to express our unique personalities.
People like to compare themselves to other people. It starts in our childhood: Who runs faster, who is a better basketball player and who is the best in maths?
Constant comparison with others continues into adulthood and social media plays a big part that this comparison continues to take place. The problem about it is we rarely compare ourselves to someone less talented, beautiful, or successful than us.
Instead, we orient ourselves towards people whom we consider perfect in a certain area and who then serve as role models. In the best case, this can motivate us to perform at our best.
However, if we tend to be perfectionists, these comparisons quickly become torture. We think we are a failure if we don’t perform like our role model, we lose the joy in what we do, and our life becomes more and more stressful and less free. It also distracts us from our innate qualities, interests, and desires.
How Do I Stop Comparing Myself to Others
The key to stopping this constant comparison is to take a close look at our so-called role models from a different perspective. We are all unique, have different talents, qualities, and life stories, which is why our life paths, expectations, and goals should also be individual (according to our personality).
Constant comparisons with others remind us again and again that we have not yet achieved certain things or cannot do them at all. It not only affects our self-esteem and self-worth but is also the driving force behind compulsive perfectionism.
Role models in particular are idealized again and again. But we usually only focus on the aspect in which we think they are perfect. In doing so, we often neglect which sacrifices the person had to and still has to make.
Instead of looking at the entire person and all circumstances, we become unhappy focusing only on these exact things and forget our unique abilities, desires, and circumstances.
For example, the idea of wealth, fame, or the comparison with the lifestyle of famous people usually leads to dissatisfaction, since these ideals diminish the reality of your life without offering you a realistic and achievable perspective.
The “Overcome Perfectionism“ Toolkit includes an exercise that will help you look at your idol or role model from different angles and identify which aspects of it actually suit you and your unique personality. Does it even make sense for me to strive to become like my idol? Becoming aware of all these elements is the best method to stop comparing yourself to others. Give it a try!