Special Three-Part Series: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others — Part Three
Why Validating Yourself Through Comparisons Is Self-Sabotaging
We already established, we all make comparisons with others throughout our lives. Sometimes a comparison can be really good for you and other times it can be bad. There are people that make comparisons based on jealousy and other negative emotions. These will usually have negative consequences such as making a person feel terrible and lowering their self worth.
Then there are good comparisons. These are when a person wants to improve their life and looks to someone else to understand the gap that they need to close to achieve their goals. Maybe they have a gap in terms of knowledge and experience and once they know what this is then they can create a plan to close the gap.
Using Comparisons to Validate Your Self-Worth
Then we have the comparisons that some people make to validate how good they are. There is some good intent here as they want to confirm that they are still great at something. This is a very common type of comparison that happens every day all across the world.
Let’s say that a person is very good at making money. They then compare themselves with someone that is always broke and is the complete opposite of them. When they compare their lives the person that is good at making money gets an ego boost while the person that is broke ends up even more depressed.
What is wrong with this comparison? If you are the person that is good at making money and you come across a stranger that looks poor to you, how can your comparison to boost your ego and why will it fail?
First, you do not know anything about this person and appearances can be very deceptive. Second, you are assuming that they don’t know how to make money like you do based solely on their appearance. You don’t really know what their financial position is and how much money they have.
You convince yourself that you read people well and compare yourself with this stranger a shot and you are feeling confident. But it turns out to be a disaster because the person has a lot more money than you and knows many more money making methods than you do!
How do you react to this when you find out?
Imagine watching your friends and colleagues begin to act warmly towards the stranger because they found out the stranger is wealthy and has influence. Do you become bitter and even angry over this? It is very likely isn’t it?
Other Downsides of Validation Comparisons
With a validation comparison there is always likely to be a winner and a loser. It is like a competition and the loser is probably going to be pretty unhappy.
In the scenario above the person thought he was going to be victorious and then came crashing down to earth.
If you use the same people for your validation comparisons it will not take long for them to get fed up with this ridiculing and start to avoid you. They will quickly spread the word about you as well. If you are a comparer seeking validation, the world can be a pretty lonely place.
Using validation comparisons rarely move people forward in their lives. They have got to a point where they are content to wallow in their victories at the expense of others, but they are not setting themselves any new challenges and growing as a result.
Comparing yourself to others for validation is a self-sabotaging behavior that leads to a cycle of short-term highs, disappointments, and resentment.
The best way to make comparisons with others is to learn and make yourself a better person. You want to achieve a specific goal so you seek out people that have already done this and learn from them.
Overall, it is best to avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on your own growth and self-worth.
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