Hello! I am currently living in a very superficial city and because of this I keep comparing myself to others and it makes me feel like I am very behind in life both professionally and personally. It seems like everyone else has life figured out and I feel like a failure and even though I know that I shouldn’t compare myself this feeling of not being good at anything just doesn’t seem to go away. How do I stop comparing myself to the people around me and focus on more important things?
Hey my friend, I’m sorry you’ve been made to feel this way. I know comparison is a very hard thing to overcome, and having grown up in an Asian culture: this is one of those predominant monsters that keeps a debilitating stranglehold.
First you must please know: You don’t have to figure out your life in a day. This isn’t some reverse-psychology or faux-comfort. Really. Everyone blooms at different speeds — and while you can cram for an exam or a presentation, you cannot cram for your life. Don’t give up on discovering your God-given talents and gifts and dreams. Just try everything until you land on your one thing.
So a few things about comparison and how to quit comparing.
1) The standards we use to measure ourselves are unfair, unreal, and arbitrary.
Just like it’s impossible to please people all the time: it’s impossible to keep up with the ever-shifting standards of worldly success and achievements. Of course we strive for excellence, but it’s unfair to throw these shackles on yourself when even the world doesn’t have a grip on them.
Even more than that, we’re not even comparing ourselves to real things. Money is paper. Fame is from people, who are just people. Grades are based on a system that only measures a tiny portion of your memorization, but they’re just grades.
I’m not trying to be the philosophical crotchety hipster here, and again, we strive for excellence: but these are transitory, temporary, fluctuating scales that cannot measure your worth as a human being. We can’t use our bank account or our intellect or our thesis as a primary marker for who we are. It’s all a man-made system that changes as much as people do.