HOW CONSTRUCTIVE COMPARISON CAN HELP US GROW
It would be wrong to say that we don’t compare ourselves with others. Consciously or subconsciously, comparison is a part of human behaviour. Humans are social animals, we are always surrounded by people, and there is no chance that we do not observe others. The people around, what they say or think, has a huge impact on what we say, think or do.
As Maslow said human is never a satisfied being, we always want more, we always want to be better. We compare ourselves to people who we think are better than us. We’re always told not to compare ourselves with others, it makes us feel bad about ourselves. It’s sometimes true, when we compare ourselves to others, we see what we lack, and how they are better than us. We fail to pay attention to our own achievements and capabilities.
It’s okay to compare ourselves in order to see where we lack but it is absolutely not right to create a negative perception about ourselves based on the comparison. Many a times, on comparing ourselves, we start fixating on our failures.
When we start obsessing about our failures, it has a negative effect on us. We start to lose confidence in our abilities, and doubt ourselves of ruining every task that we get involved with.
But every coin has a flip side. If comparison is deteriorating, to a certain extent it can be very helpful. All we need to do is look at the positives. One very effective way to measure one’s progress is through comparing oneself with the one whom we consider to be ideal or a role model. When we look at someone as our ideal we look for ways to improve ourselves. We are our own scale of measurement and there is no hurry, but we can certainly draw inspiration from others.
When we want to compare ourselves with others, we can observe every aspect of their personality, observe them completely as an individual apart from focussing on one particular aspect we want to learn. When we observe people, we get to know about a lot of new things about the person and in general. We may come across topics we aren’t aware of, or we may develop advanced knowledge of a particular topic or field of knowledge.
Another benefit that healthy comparison could give is, make us feel empowered. Even if we spend 5 minutes in an entire day comparing ourselves with our ideal ones, we come across our abilities as well.
We feel happy to achieve what we are today. When we compare someone’s achievements with our achievements we may feel jealous or may be unsatisfied with self. But if we lay our focus on comparing our capabilities with them it may give us hope for betterment, also it will give us a direction to work upon.
Another important benefit of comparison is that when we look to achieve something, we introspect a lot and during that process we gain a lot of self-knowledge. We discover various hidden talents and capacities that we generally inhibit. We also realize where are the ways we are stopping ourselves from moving forward. We also get to understand which area we need to work upon and what are our strengths and limitations.
If pursued in a meaningful and constructive way, comparison can actually help us grow into a better and more capable person!