August 1, 2021

CJ Masciantonio

Mind of Mash: Don’t Compare, Don’t Despair


Why You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself to Others

One of the biggest struggles I’ve had over the years has been knowing my self-worth and being okay with it. Much of that has stemmed from comparing myself to those around me. I am fortunate to be surrounded by friends who motivate me and are incredibly talented in their respective fields. It has always kept my fire going. However, some days I feel as though I’m an afterthought and I’m always playing catch up to match their achievements. That kind of thinking can cause major setbacks in a person’s productivity and mental well-being.

We must remember that at the end of the day, we are only human. No one is perfect. In today’s age, people tend to show only the parts of their lives they want others to see. Often, what they display represents an unrealistic view of what they go through every day.

Do you struggle with feelings of inferiority because of comparing yourself to the perfect lives you see around you? Below are some examples of common comparison scenarios and how I try to combat them.

4 Self-Defeating Situations and How to Overcome Them

1. The Grass Is Always Greener

Many people find themselves easily discouraged. A big catalyst for this is social media. Most individuals tend to only show the best parts of their lives on the internet. And why not? People should be able to share the high points of their lives. Unfortunately, this can paint an unrealistic picture of one’s life, giving the illusion of a perfect standard to live up to. While one person may seem to have the ideal life, there is likely just as much imperfection going on behind the scenes. Such is the case for me, you, and everyone else who’s ever lived!

My advice: Limit your time spent on social media. It’s easy to get sucked in and feel the need to compare yourself to others as you scroll by their picture-perfect posts. Turn off notifications, or even consider deleting social media apps for a while to really keep yourself mentally in check.

2. You Are Your Own Worst Enemy

It’s okay to reflect on your work and think about what you could’ve done differently. We are all learning to become better every day. That’s how people grow. However, this can become a problem if all you do is criticize yourself and fail to celebrate your accomplishments—big and small. Furthermore, it’s natural to pile on the negativity when you believe that you are trailing behind someone else’s rate of progress.

Never forget to take the time to appreciate your victories. This will help give you the energy to move forward. Success isn’t a race; each of us reaches the finish line at our own pace.

3. You Dwell Upon Failures

Failure is a part of life, and that’s okay. We learn from our mistakes and pick ourselves up when we fall. Bigger failures often lead us to dwell upon our shortcomings. This is when we need to look at the bigger picture. Don’t worry about what others might say, and don’t seek the approval of others in those instances. Some people like to make themselves feel better by seeing others fail. The best way to get back at them is to come back even stronger.

Instead of fixating on what happened, try to take stock of the situation, learn, and adapt for the future. People only know success through failure. Failure is a normal part of life, and there is no shame in it. If you’re not failing, then you’re not learning.

4. You’re Holding Back the Best Parts of Yourself

Every human is unique in his or her own way. The minute you start comparing yourself to others is the minute you begin to sacrifice the best parts of yourself that make you, you.

Often, people pretend to be something they’re not. And people can sniff out fakeness.

If you’re putting on a façade, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Be confident in yourself and the qualities that you possess. Doing so will allow your creative juices to flow, and you’ll put your own personal stamp on your work. Be authentic by being 100 percent you!

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

In today’s world, many of us feel like we’re not good enough. I still struggle with this feeling, and hopefully, I will start taking my own advice to better myself. Nevertheless, we must all remember that what matters is progress, not perfection. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Worry about becoming the very best version of yourself, mistakes and all!

People who believe in themselves and are proud of their accomplishments find that others become inspired by them. Having pride in your accomplishments is healthy. There’s a good chance people already look up to you based on your achievements. The more you focus on yourself, the more people will revere you as a source of motivation and inspiration.

Your turn! What are some of your unique qualities that inspire others?

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