At some point or another, we have all been told not to compare ourselves to others. However, like most advice that is given, it is much easier said than done to follow. If you’re like me, you probably rolled your eyes, denied ever comparing yourself to others and then exclaimed ‘this is America!’ Comparing yourself to someone else may not seem like such a bad thing, but in reality, it’s one of the worst things you can do.
Sometimes people compare themselves to others to see how much better they are than someone else. For example, maybe it took someone three hours to do a homework assignment, but it only took you one. You might feel good about yourself and think that you’re better than the other person, but chances are, you’re probably not. Not only are you putting someone else down to make yourself feel better, but you’re not taking into consideration that perhaps this person has other strengths; they’re probably better at some things than you are, you just don’t know it, nor did you take the time to find out because you were too busy gloating to yourself.
More often, people make themselves feel worse by comparing themselves to other people. I myself, used to be guilty of this. On the first day of my drawing class, I was pretty miserable. Everyone else, it seemed, wasn’t struggling, didn’t have charcoal all over their arms and legs, and the majority of people finished before the class was done. I felt like that first day was a representation of how the rest of the semester would go. It turns out, my drawing professor noticed that it takes me longer to do assignments, but she made sure I knew that it was not a problem. Everyone works at a different pace and she likes that I put in the extra effort to make it look as nice as I can (#winning). By comparing myself to others, I was actually holding myself back. I didn’t think I could do as well as everyone else and, at the time, I didn’t want to try. I realized that I’ll never learn if I constantly compare myself to others.
You’ll never learn to take care of your problems or learn how talented you are at something if you only depend on how others handle the same situations. Following what others do is not necessarily wrong, but it is best to not be dependent on being like everyone else. So next time you come across a problem, take a deep breath, take a step back and think about how you would handle it. You know yourself best, thus you will come up with the best solution.