The Comparison Trap

Comparing ourselves to others can be easy to do. Especially with social media around. It’s something that many have done at some point in their lives. It’s something that I’m guilty of. I admit that I’ve fallen into the comparison trap. Definitely not the best feeling or thoughts I want to have or anything like that. I’m sure it’s not a pleasant situation for anyone.

There are so many things that we compare. It could be relate to money, or parenting, or social situation, or pretty much anything in life.

As a kid in elementary school, before I knew I had ADHD, I would compare myself to other kids. I would wonder why some kids had an easier time in school, doing well on tests, and such. I would wonder how kids would have such an easy time focusing when it was reading time. I would get frustrated because I had such a hard time remembering things. I’d forget to bring things home or to school quite a bit. It just seemed like I was struggling more than the other kids in my class. I didn’t feel quite as adequate.

So, yes, I was comparing myself a lot to other kids, which wasn’t a good feeling. Again, at the time, I didn’t know that I had ADHD, that my brain was wired differently, and for that reason couldn’t/shouldn’t compare myself to the neurotypical kids in my class.

As an adult, I’ve found myself falling into this comparison trap as well. The times I’ve found myself comparing myself to others is usually with regards to other moms and parents. The thoughts and feelings were definitely similar to the ones I had as a kid, only this time it had to do with my abilities as a mom/parent. So many times I’ve said to myself: It seems to come so naturally to that mom/parent. Why can’t I be like her? I just can’t seem to keep it together like those moms/dads/parents. And the list goes on.

Point is I was comparing myself and never feeling good enough. Whenever we fall into this trap, it’s easy to feel about ourselves.

It took me a while to realize that I was comparing myself to others and often I was doing.

Overtime I started to work on my mindset and making some shift. Focusing more on doing the best that I can, not setting expectations too high for myself, making them more realistic for me, and just realizing that everyone struggles with something.

As much as other people may have the perfect life, we don’t see the whole picture. No one is perfect. Everyone struggles with something. You just don’t always see those imperfections and struggles.

So, next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others and falling for the trap, just keep these things in mind.

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  • Hi Dominique.

    I think it is a trap that many people fall into. And not just once either – once you start making these comparisons you’ll be making them all the time.

    I make a conscious effort to be happy with, and thankful for, what I’ve got. I don’t care that others may have bigger houses, fancier cars, more holidays etc etc – I’m perfectly content with my house, my car, and my holidays.

    Let your happiness come from what you have in absolute terms, not by reference to others 🙂

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