In an older post I talked about the competition paradigm and how it's bringing you down, because there will always be someone who outclasses you - no matter how good you are, at anything.
Comparing yourself to other people is a big problem related to this.
If you compare yourself to others constantly, then all you will find is people who are better than you. I'm not saying that to make you feel small - your brain is going to focus not on how you're better than them, but how they're better than you.
You may on the other hand compare yourself to people who you perceive to be 'worse' somehow. By doing this you try to build your own self esteem. ' I'm prettier than Jenny, so I can feel okay with myself'. 'My coat is more expensive than Arthur's, so I can feel comfortable in this coat '.
That is also a damaging mindset. Just think about it. You're resting your whole self esteem on other people. If your perceived 'status' drops, you become unhappy.
Why does your mind do this?
It does it because:
1. It always wants to improve itself, and one of the ways it does this is by looking for role models.
2.You have a tribe mentality. All that means is that deep down, your brain thinks it's going to die unless it fits in with everyone else.
3. We are animals that live in a hierarchy, so we naturally think of people as having different statuses. Does this sound familiar?
He hangs out with the weird kids, so he's lower than that guy who gets more girls. But that guy isn't as high as that girl because she has more friends and gets invited to more parties.
It's that way of thinking.
Unless you have worked on this, then that is naturally how you think.
So, if you are continuously comparing yourself to other people, you'll form a distorted self image.
Your mind will stick itself in this mindset of lack, and all you'll be able to see, everywhere, is people who in some way are better than you.
The reasons why this is holding you back:
1. It makes you jealous. Jealousy is a negative emotion. All negative emotions stop you from getting what you want ( see this article:Your in-built guidance system)
2. You will attempt to start being like those people, rather than being yourself. This is DEADLY. Unless you are being yourself, you cannot be satisfied in life.
3. To build on (2), if you are trying to be like someone else, then you are following their path. This is taking you away from your own personal path. The further you move from your own path, the more unhappy and neurotic you will become - so be very aware of this.
Now you can see that this way if thinking is bringing you down - how do you break out of it? How can you turn the dial back up to 'maximum', and start being more powerful and independent?
Well, first there's a few truths that you have to realise.
And it won't do to just believe these things. You have to really soak them in, and see for yourself that they're true. If you can do that, then you can start to break out of all this trapping comparison.
Truth 1: You have no idea what the other person is really like. You are comparing yourself not to who that person actually is - but to who you think they are.
The lie - Jenny is so confident. I wish I was confident like Jenny.
The reality - Jenny is more insecure than you think. She's not always confident, you just don't see her being awkward.
Truth 2: Every human actually has equal value. Why? Because value is just something in our heads; we're making it up.
The lie - I wish I was like Fred. Fred gets better grades than me, and he has more friends, so he must have more value as a person.
The reality - Fred has no value. Neither do you. Imagine if there were no human beings in the world; gold and pebbles would have the same value. This is the truth for people too. If that didn't click for you, go back and read it again, because it's a super important one.
Truth 3: Humans are waaaaay too complex for you to be comparing them. One person may be better looking, but the other is funnier, but he can play guitar, but he can cook really well. And so on. There's too many aspects of us to contrast, and most of them aren't the same anyway. You can't look at a really good chef next to a really good footballer, and ask which one is 'better'.
The lie - Zebbedy has such good fashion sense. I guess he's better than me. I wish I could be more like Zebbedy.
The reality - Zebbedy has good fashion sense, but he's not as witty as you. He dresses well, but you play chess well. How can you really compare yourself to him? He's not better, he's just different.
Truth 4: You are a unique being, with a unique path. What has more impact - a solid, authentic individual, or a reflection of someone else?
The lie - My life is going nowhere, but look at all the cool stuff Jim is doing. I wish I was more like Jim.
The reality - Jim is doing what he's doing. You need to be doing what you're doing too.
In conclusion, please consider this.
What is more powerful?
When you spend your energy on being like lots of other people, your energy is spread thin.
When you focus your energy on being your personal best - on being maximised - then suddenly, you have a great deal more energy for yourself.
Try both, and you will see which is more effective.