The Comparison Dilemma

The Comparison Dilemma

In all aspects of our lives, regardless of the work we do or the creative paths we take, we are constantly faced with the challenge of comparison. We often look at our own output and determine its value by basing it on our perception of others’ accomplishments. What we tend to forget is our own accomplishments. We are overcome by doubt when we see the success of others, while we struggle with our own output.

When we see what others have achieved, sometimes we begin to question our own abilities, and we may feel overwhelmed with doubt. We perceive our own challenges as being unique to us. We believe that what is a struggle for us is often not a challenge for those we compare ourselves too.

By doubting ourselves, we become discouraged by the successes displayed by others. We don’t take into consideration that the things that others are presenting are only a small piece of what they are choosing to share.

With social media everywhere we look, we perceive people at the top of their game through what they choose to share of their work and accomplishments. What we forget is that in these scenarios, often what is shared is in fact, the “highlight reels”. With these platforms being so popular, it has become very easy to present ourselves in a light that indicates we live a life without failures or struggles.

The act of comparison is often viewed as a way create a sense of competition to encourage us to strive to achieve our best. They say that a little “friendly competition” is positive and helps us to step up our game. The problem with this at times is that although competition can be a great motivator for some people, too often, many of us get discouraged and begin to second guess our capabilities.

We may not have invested the same amount of time into something or have access to the same opportunities as others. The reality is that we are all facing challenges. Despite our accomplishments, skill development and creative talents, we need to look at the work of others and use it as a way to stay inspired. Joy should not come from comparing ourselves to others but rather by realizing what we are capable of and taking the first steps.

Don’t be afraid to try to learn new skills and challenge yourself. Seek inspiration from others and don’t let the trap of comparison change your intended path by feeling a need to emulate their successes. By focusing on comparison, you can lose perspective of what you have already accomplished yourself. Be true to who you are and follow your own path. 

2 thoughts on “The Comparison Dilemma

  1. Thank you Michael! I truly needed to receive your message. I struggle silently with self-criticism, comparing myself to others, and RARLY take the optimist view. I habitually hurting my own feelings. So many people tell me “you’re too good for this place, you’re smart, skilled, and so professional. You really could get something better” … and when I hear these kind, well-intended sentiments, my self-talk, inner voice immediately rejects it. I constantly build walls around myself. Your message here really gave me an eye opener, and I will be kinder to myself, take a healthier perspective and take action. Thank you from my heart.

    1. Thank you! I am glad my words gave you encouragement. We all struggle with this and sometimes we need to just allow ourselves to embrace the inspirations around us and appreciate the things that we find contentment in. Life’s not a competition but a series of learned and valued experiences. All the best to you!

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