We live in a world that examines things, food, our purchases and people under a microscope. We evaluate what is right or wrong, good or bad, better or best, etc. This thinking causes us to play a constant comparison game as we look at every element of the world around us.
Being an Amazon customer, I fall into this trap all the time. I look at reviews and read other’s experiences and opinions to make a better informed decision. Yes, this is a way to be a smart consumer and spend my money wisely, but it also fuels the comparison game mindset that I MUST get the best.
Others fall into the comparison game because of social media. They compare their reality with the “highlight reel” that others post. This causes people to feel like their lives are boring, depressing, and not as good as others have it.
When someone sees life as a comparison game, they tend to rank things as they evaluate. Ever had any of these thoughts?…
“I am the smartest man in the room.”
“My kids are the best dressed and most well behaved.”
“Why can’t I have the life she has? Everything is so perfect for her.”
“If only ________ would work out for me, then I could finally be happy”
This envious way of thinking can cause a lot of struggles in our lives. Here are some things you “WIN” as you play the comparison game.
Doubt and Insecurity
Congratulations…the comparison game thinking has given you a lack of confidence. Comparing leaves you in a place of always wondering what could be better and makes you distrust your judgment. You may find yourself falling down the never ending hole of second guessing your choice which leads to dissatisfaction.
Not being happy with your reality is a slippery slope. Of course we can always set goals for improvement, which is good and healthy. But being discontent causes us to look at our lives with negative lenses and makes it hard to be grateful and see anything good around you.
The comparison game triggers shame. There will always be a “SHOULD” that pops up to haunt you and lead you to a place of beating up on yourself and not forgiving your mistakes.
Comparing at it’s core is looking for what’s best and what’s not. This causes you to look for the negatives and flaws around you and within yourself. This can be dangerous as one becomes overly critical of others and himself and neglects to offer grace or opportunities to learn and grow.
The comparison game rewards you with high expectations of yourself and others that are often unattainable. These can result in a feeling of never being good enough because you can never reach the perfectionist bar you’ve set too high.
So what do you think about all the “prizes” you could win from playing the comparison game?! Think about this the next time you feel envy tempting you and remember to look around for the GOOD that is right in front of you and embrace it.