Why Comparing Yourself to Others is Death

I am very much guilty to this.

Today at staff meeting, we did an evaluation on our top 5 strengths from the StrengthQuest test. Being a group of college seniors, working as peer advisers in an advising office, professional development was integral to our job. Only when we hone our personal and professional skills can we better help others, DUH.

So, as we each share our 5 strengths, what they are and if anything odd stood out to us, we realized that the strength ‘achiever’ was the top strength for half of our team.

“Achiever” meaning always overarching and working hard. Meaning always striving for the best quality and staying on top of shit.

I didn’t get “Achiever”.

Well, I can say I am no expert in waking up in the morning and definitely not good at studying math. But, am I not an achiever? Not getting the label, although it is something so minimal, has kept me awake at night, meaning now.

Yes, mind us, we should note that this is only a test. Not of my life, not even a wholesome evaluation of me as a person, but something more like an upgraded version of horoscope. But why the heck is this keeping me awake?

Then, I realized, I’m doing it again. Comparing myself to others. The taboo. The detrimental and all the evil.

It is funny. Just earlier that afternoon, I was chatting with my colleague about not to compare ourselves with other people despite our college senior fears and anxiety. Somehow, my words are not reaching myself in this very evening and it’s causing more fuzz than I am hoping.

So why should we never compare ourselves with others? Based on personal experience, here are 3 things.

1.You are never satisfied. In an unhealthy desperate kinda insane way.

Chances are you lie awake at night, wondering where will you be in 5 years when all your peers got managerial roles. Chances are you work so hard that you play the busy card on people that actually matter to you (like your mom and dad). Chances are you got that 90% on the bio exam but still feels that you did very poorly because you didn’t reach the 75th percentile. This is a little sick.

2. You are unhappy.

You may feel achievements are never truly achievements unless you are doing better than other people. You don’t find enough joy in doing the tasks, you see results. Yes, results and numbers are important, for your company. What will those actually mean to you?

3. You reek negativity. 

Because you are dissatisfied, you are unhappy, you probably won’t be a very happy to be around with. You see, it’s all a vicious cycle.

So, why do this to yourself? TRANSLATION: Don’t do it! Don’t fall into the trap of over competitiveness over the most minimal things! Don’t fall into the blackhole of self-deprecation. Don’t reek a negative aura that will shun your bright future and opportunities away.

Writing this for myself tonight, nobody has to read this. But if you happen to, then tell me what is the most ridiculous thing you compared others to.