My quote for the day on my Facebook page today was by Mark Twain. The quote was, "Comparsion is the death of joy." And it struck me how often we judge ourselves by comparing ourselves to others. Where did we get this habit, why do we feel compelled to compare ourselves?
Comparing products is a great way to buy something. Which one is built better, which one looks more appealing, which one is the best buy for the money? These are all great things to consider. But how does that carry into our personal lives? Through competition. From the beginning of time, we seem to feel the need to always be better than someone else. In school, we get graded on our intellect, so we compare that to our classmates. If I got an A I must be smarter than someone who got a B. If I can sink more baskets in basketball, I must be more skilled.
We are constantly comparing ourselves to others and then judging others or ourselves. In order to make a judgement, we have to compare it to something else. Much of that is done on an unconscious level that we aren't really aware of. If I say someone is nice, the unstated can be thought of "as compared to what?" We always need something to compare to in order to make an assessment of things.
This can be difficult when we are not aware of how we are comparing ourselves. The other day I posted a quote that had to do with not comparing our beginning with someone else's middle. And why do we feel the need to compare anyway? What does it matter if someone is better at something than I am? It doesn't. We just like to judge ourselves because it is a habit that we acquired long ago.
I invite you to try not comparing things for a day. You may be surprised at how often you do it without thinking. What if you were to buy something based on what it has to offer only? What if when you went to the grocery store to buy an apple, you simply looked at the one that looked the best to you without comparing it to the rest around it? If you just said, "there, that apple appeals to me in a way the others don't." You can't really do that, because you would still be finding it appealing because you compared it to the others around it. Comparison is our frame of reference and it is needed in many areas of our lives. But it is not needed when it comes to comparing ourselves to others.
We are all different in our own ways and so it can be like comparing apples to oranges. If you want to compare, perhaps try comparing yourself to yourself. Where am I now compared to a year ago or 5 years ago. Who am I now compared to a year ago. Be fair and compare apples to apples by not comparing yourself to others. Allow you to be you just as you are..............