Comparing ourselves with others is unfortunately part of the human condition, although some do so more than others. Living on this planet amongst billions of other people naturally results in their being people who are living completely different lives from you. It is, to a certain extent, natural to notice the differences between them. However, feeling inferior to a person because they appear to have “more” than you or their life looks “better”, is an extremely unhealthy state of mind and a difficult habit to break. So, for insight into how you can stop comparing and despairing, continue reading this section from personal growth essays below.

When I was growing up, I often heard girls complain about parts of their body that they didn’t like, which I think is fairly normal, especially in teenage years. What felt less natural to me was the negative reaction towards other females who were attractive. I always felt very lucky that I didn’t experience these negative feelings towards others, although I definitely felt bad about myself. Looking back though, I realise that my reasons for feeling bad about my own appearance was a direct result of hearing other people’s opinions. For example, if I heard someone criticise their own skin and I felt my skin was similar to theirs, I would then feel that my skin was also not good enough. So, one of the best things you can do is not broadcast your self-criticism as you never know who is listening and how it can have a negative impact on them.

As I grew into my late teens and exams and university became the main priority in my life, I began to experience a new all-consuming pressure: to perform well. This pressure led to more comparison as I watched others in my classes get higher marks on essays or produce more enlightened responses to the teaching material. I constantly worried that I wasn’t smart enough, or at least as smart as them, and therefore wouldn’t succeed in life, never mind pass the course. Looking back, I know now that these people were not necessarily smarter than me but they were certainly more prepared. Most of my time at university was spent working all sorts of part-time jobs to try and pay for my expensive city centre flat and partying for days on end with friends outside of university. I barely had time to attend class, and studying was something I reserved to the night before which was nowhere near enough time. Although there was no way to avoid having to work several jobs to support myself through university, I certainly could have cut back on socialising to make time for my studies. It was a choice that I made.

Another mind-set I have found across many peers is the belief that there is an outside force that is responsible for negative things in our lives. For example, if I had a bad morning where I missed my bus and then spilled my coffee, all before arriving at work, they would say “Oh well it’s not going to be a good day today”. This suggested that there was some higher power that had decided the whole day was going to be bad, just because one or two mishaps had occurred. This idea did not sit right with me. I was determined that I could turn my day around. The key to achieving this is to believe that you can. Although life is unpredictable and unfortunately bad things do just happen sometimes, it doesn’t mean that we have absolutely no control over our lives. We need to take responsibility for our actions and believe that we have the power to overcome difficult situations.

When you have a bad morning, or a bad day, instead of wallowing in self-pity and believing there is some invisible force out to get you, you should accept that it’s just one of those things that happen. There are billions of people living on this planet, all trying to live their lives the best they can. Bad things will happen to every single person. It is the individual’s emotional response to negative experiences that will determine how to you will move forward from them.

A great trick that is often suggested in personal growth essays, is to write down a side-by-side comparison of your emotions and reality. This way you are validating your feelings, which are real, but then putting into perspective where these feelings are coming from. For example, feeling lonely because you have not seen your friends lately, and you worry that they don’t want to spend time with you (a common response in people who suffer from anxiety). The reality of this is usually that your friends are simply busy.

Author's Bio: 

Muiredach Madhukar is a nice man.