Are You Caught in the Comparison Trap?

Moyo Musings - Weekly Reflections for Growth

“He’s better looking.” “She’s more successful than me.” “I’m not talented enough.” Does this sound familiar? If yes, here’s a dose of reality: The problem is not who or what you are. I repeat. As mind-boggling as it may seem, the problem is not you! The problem is that you are constantly comparing yourself to others.

Why do we compare?

One of the functions of the brain is to compare and contrast. It helps us make sense of the world.  However, habitual comparison arises from an inability to accept our own life circumstances, bodies, parents, capabilities, thoughts, or feelings. It started in our early years, when as children we realized that we looked different from our peers, had different talents than our siblings, and came from a different family than our friends. In school, we learned to classify people as “popular,” “smart,” “stupid,” “funny,” “beautiful,” “rich,” “poor” - the list goes on. We were taught that we need to get the gold star, and not the others! Overtime, we gave everyone their own special place in our hierarchy as “better” and “worse,” and to this day we measure ourselves up against others.

Why is comparison destructive?

While it may seem natural, habitual comparison is a disease of the mind. When we constantly struggle to become anything that we are not, we resist the truth about what we are and the reality of our life conditions. The fight is exhausting. Comparison breeds discomfort in relationships, and morphs into anger, jealousy, and hatred. Clouded by these negative emotions, we lose all intelligence and indulge in destructive behavior.

Breaking the Habit It may seem logical to try to talk yourself out of this habit, by reasoning with yourself why you are the way you are, or how you got to point B in your life. You might say it’s because of your genetics, upbringing, or missed opportunities. While this may help to an extent, justifications and explanations are yet more tactics by the mind to avoid dealing with the true source of comparison - a painful experience in the past. If you are able to experience the unresolved emotion attached to the situation, and fully stay with the emotion completely, resistance would dissolve and you would automatically embrace your present condition. True acceptance is a happening, not a reasoning, and it dawns spontaneously. Do you struggle with habitual comparison? Try having a talk with your Higher Self today.

  1. Ask to become conscious of your habit. If this is completely new territory for you, you may need to first simply become aware of your comparison. In what contexts and to whom do you feel inferior? Is this obvious, or is it happening on a subtle level?

  2. Ask to get in touch with the unresolved emotion associated with this situation. You may feel the pain residing in a physical part of your body. Do not try to escape the uncomfortable sensation, but let it run through the body.

  3. Ask for liberation.

~Nitya Naidu, Social Media Coordinator

Photo by Tiko Giorgadze on Unsplash