Identity and Comparing Yourself

Comparing yourself is just a base action – something that we automatically and naturally do.  You can’t help it.  We all do it.

Most times we compare ourselves to someone else that is better than us at something.  You will always lose when you do.

Sometimes we compare ourselves with someone that isn’t as good at something as we are – and what that ends up doing is making you feel better about yourself, but you end up looking down at someone or you don’t improve at it because you’re “better than that guy.”

Comparing yourself has some huge identity implications.  When you compare yourself with someone – most of the time, its an identity feature that you’re comparing – ie. the size of their nose (looks), or their ability to sing (singer), or the financial stability (wealth).  We compare identity features.  We sometimes boil a person’s value or worth based on one identity feature.  It’s not fair, but it’s the emotional, crazy thing that we do.

We can get stuck comparing our identities with someone else’s.  Because we’re not as good or not as strong as someone else, we kinda get stuck in where we are and just leave it at that.

I think comparing yourself has some positive things to it.  It allows you to see how different you are.  If we were all the same, that would be boring.  You can see your true self when you are able to compare yourself with another.  Seeing how different someone is might even challenge us to become more like them – and make us better because of it.

Comparing Yourself is not necessarily a bad thing.  It gives us context.  The problem is when the context arrests us from developing our identities.  I’m learning that we are just not that great a self-awareness.  We can get lost in feeling bad for ourselves.  Don’t feel bad about comparing yourself.  It’s natural and normal.  You can’t stop something that’s natural and normal.

Use the comparing to make yourself better.  It’s so easy for me to say.  I’d be rich if I could tell you how to do it.  I guess it all depends on how your compare yourself to me.

 

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2 Comments

  1. As a four on the enneagram, I have a notorious way of doing this. Our root sin is envy. Everyone has the one thing that is missing from our life. We compare to try and find completion.

    1. When we talked last week – you had mentioned something about our narcissism. There was a point where narcissism – wasn’t so bad. A little bit of narcissism pushes us forward to change. When it gets to be too much though – that’s when it’s a problem. Thanks for your comment.
      I’m ready to share that podcast. Can’t wait to get some feedback on it.

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