Constantly comparing myself to others has been like an illness that has affected me as long as I can remember. This included insecurities I felt with my siblings, my own mother comparing me to her friend’s daughter (which happened to be my childhood nemesis) and my relatives constantly finding ways to put me down for not having the same physical qualities as my parents. I thought I could outgrow the insecurities and the bad feelings I had with myself, but its been a bad habit that’s stayed with me into adulthood.
While comparing yourself to others can be used as a self evaluation and valuable source of motivation and growth, it can also raise your self-doubts and harm your self confidence. This is the last thing you want to do when trying to overcome social anxiety.
I’ve listed down 5 reasons why you should stop comparing yourself to others if you want to reduce your social phobia.
1. It defies your purpose and could be a hindrance in achieving your life goals
Spending too much time thinking how more skillful and intelligent your coworkers are than you or how successful your high school friends have become is not only time consuming but can also weaken your motivation. It gives you false goals to pursue, thinking you have to achieve the same things in life as other people to be successful.
2. It’s a bad habit that’s emotionally stressful
I know habits are hard to break. But recognizing that comparing yourself to others is unhelpful, and unhealthy, you can start making more progress in overcoming the insecurities driving your social anxiety. You will realize that comparing yourself to others is not only self destructive but emotionally stressful as well.
3. The way people project themselves might be false
You may not know it yet, but the impression you have of other people might not be the real version of themselves. A lot of people like to project themselves in the best possible light on Facebook and in social media, like sharing photos of their sports car or their nice house. The truth is people flaunt the edited version of themselves and hide the negative ones.
4. Constantly comparing yourself to others could be damaging to your sense of self
As Mark Twain said, “comparison is the death of joy”, and psychologists would also agree. According to research, comparing yourself to others breeds feelings of envy, low-self esteem, and depression. If through comparison you can only evaluate your worth then you will always be losing. It is impossible to be better than everyone you meet. We all have our own unique strengths and weaknesses. Instead, try to be the best version of you and focus your attention on your goals to achieve them.
5. You should realize that everybody is different and each one of us has our own uniqueness
You should embrace your own distinctive individualism. Stop being afraid to be who you are. Whatever your skin color, body size, religion and sexual orientation, don’t be afraid to be yourself. It is who you are and it is what makes you different from anyone else. Don’t let other people dictate to you on what to think or how to act according to their own biases. Live your life on your own terms and try to change your habit of being a perfectionist. Do whatever makes you happy rather than doing something to impress your parents, friends or anyone else’s. Remember, it is your life that you are living and not theirs.