Don’t Measure Your Success With Another Person’s Yardstick

It’s natural to want to be good at things.  It makes us feel good about ourselves.  When we succeed, we feel validated, but how do we measure our success?  For many people, success is measured by comparing themselves to others.  This comparison, however, is usually not a good idea.  It’s not only unfair to both parties, but it’s not even a valid way to assess the situation.  Many times, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.  Here are some reasons you should avoid comparing yourself to others.

Jealousy, word cloud concept 5

Jealousy, word cloud concept on black background.

First, their situation is probably different from yours.  Some people already have a leg up.  For instance, some people have physical beauty.  Others might come from a wealthy family.  Maybe the other person’s parents have connections which helped him or her get the job that you envy.  The point is there are too many variables, and trying to compare ourselves to others isn’t fair to anybody.  It’s not necessarily that you aren’t as good as somebody else, but maybe it’s not a level playing field.

Another reason that comparisons should be avoided is because most things look better from the outside.  Just because somebody seems to have it all doesn’t mean that they actually do.  You don’t know what personal struggles he or she has to face.  You don’t know anything other than the way it appears from the outside.  A lot of people know how to only show others what they want them to see.  Especially in today’s age of social media, it’s easy to make your life look great.  Just post photos and gush about the good times, but of course, most people won’t say anything at all about the negative things going on in their lives.  The point is the illusion of a perfect life is probably just that–an illusion.  You might not feel so inferior if you knew the whole story.

Yet another reason not to compare yourself to others, especially family and friends, is that it can harm your relationships.  When we use the achievements of those around us to gauge our own adequacy, we can’t be truly happy for the other person.  Your thoughts become centered on your own jealousy and despair that you don’t have the same thing.  By refusing to allow yourself to make that comparison, you can really rejoice in the other person’s happiness and success knowing that your time will come.

Comparing yourself to others is a destructive habit.  It makes you unhappy with yourself and with those to whom you compare yourself.  Not only is it an inaccurate way to measure your success, but it’s unfair as well.  By avoiding this behaviour, you will feel better about yourself and your achievements. You will truly be able to enjoy your success for what it is, not for how it feels compared to another person’s success.