Comparing Yourself to Others: Can We Use it as a Tool for Self-improvement?

The answer is “Yes”, but only if you do a constructive comparison!

This may sound debatable to many readers as we are constantly hearing that we should not compare ourselves to others, we should only compare ourselves to the person we were yesterday, and we should have our own path to follow.

When we compare ourselves to others, few emotions arise relative to the object of comparison such as feeing of lacking, separation, envyness and discontent.

Famous quote on comparison:

Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

We all know that comparing ourselves to others is not at all good for our wellbeing, but is it really possible to completely stop doing that??

If your answer is “Yes” then that’s really awesome and please stick to it “Do Not Compare Yourself to Others”

But majority of us cannot resist ourselves on comparing as this is in the human instinct to compare ourselves to others on various aspects like physical appearance, financial status, career, luck, lifestyle, intelligence, and a number of followers on social media.

So how we can use this natural human behavior of comparison as a motivational tool for our personal development?

Through constructive comparison which involves analysis of the root factors responsible for the feeling of resentment and how you can focus and work on the particular thing (which you are comparing and feeling lacking in it) you want to make an improvement. For example, if you are comparing yourself on someone’s skill of being super organized, instead of showing any negative feelings towards yourself or towards that person, work on yourself to become more organized.

There are few steps to follow for doing a constructive comparison and turning it into motivation:

  • Do not compare on things that you cannot change or improve no matter how hard you try. Accept your current state and be grateful for whatever you have.
  • Give attention to your comparison patterns by bringing awareness to it and observe what kind of feeling you are expressing while doing so.
  • Whenever you perceive someone is better at something than you are, instead of feeling jealous or envious, genuinely appreciate it.
  • Now you don’t have to pursue everything you see in others. Ask yourself what you really want in your life and the answer should come from your heart and not based on what other people are telling us to have.
  • The things you really want in your life, chase them until it becomes your reality. But always remember to be grateful for what you have now with working on it.

Destructive comparison will leave you unhappy and dissatisfied and it can only waste your time and energy which you could have used for self-development.  

Replace negative emotions of comparison with appreciation and expressing happy feelings towards the other person can help you in using this comparing thing as a motivational tool for self-improvement.

How Gratitude Plays an Important Role in Leading Happy Life

We frequently hear about how being grateful can change your life from many motivational speakers and authors all around. How you can make your life entirely blissful by incorporating the practice of gratitude in your daily routine. How it can help you from improving your relationships to decreasing stress levels to your quality of sleep and many other endless things.

So, what is Gratitude??

A lot of people think gratitude is only saying “thank you” but it is a lot more than just that. Gratitude is an emotion/feeling for expression of joy which comes from appreciation and thankfulness. It can also be described as a personality trait, an attitude, mood or way of living. It is natural to feel grateful when life is too good, and things are happening the way we wanted them to be, but it is very difficult when we are in a situation which we do not want, or we are desiring something we don’t yet have.

Expressing gratitude is the most effective method of producing feelings of happiness. When you feel truly grateful your brain releases some hormones which will make you feel more peaceful, less reactive, and less resistant. Many scientific studies show gratitude can transform your brain by changing the molecular structure of your brain which helps it to function in a better way, strengthens your immunity system and keeps us healthier and happier.

Regular practice of gratitude can make a huge difference in your way of living life and encourages positive emotions, make you feel more alive, and adds more compassion and kindness into your personality. Thus, the feeling of gratitude should not be restricted to only glorious moments and we should make it as a habit.  

How we can make gratitude a habit

There are no shortcuts for having this wonderful habit and the only way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is by practicing it consistently with a lot of patience.

Here are a few simple ways to practice gratitude:

  • Gratitude Journal: Keep a gratitude journal to write down a list of things you are grateful in life. Do this once or twice in a day and try to list things as many as possible. Feel grateful from your heart for each thing you are listing in it rather than merely saying thank you.
  • Meditation: A very powerful tool to calm your mind and it will help you to focus on the positive side of life.        
  • Set Reminders in your Phone: It might sound silly to constantly reminding yourself to feel grateful, but when you will practice it, being thankful become easy.
  • Spend time with your loved ones/family and friends and express gratitude for everything they do for you.
  • Let go of your past and anxiety of the future and focus on what you are doing right now.
  • Be kind to yourself- Focus on self-care and be thankful for everything your body and mind do for you.

You may have many reasons to feel disappointed and worried but if you consciously choose to be grateful regardless of the situation, you can change your life for the better and you will able to lead a happy life.