I first became aware of the whole "comparisonitis" concept when I encountered a Pinterest quote that said "I will not be jealous of people on the Internet." Let's face it. From the Kardashian Instagram selfies to all these sumptuous dishes friends post on Facebook, it's very easy to get into this habit of Internet envy - mostly from people who's pictures look SUPER professional online. (Well, there are lots of apps out there that can make ordinary pictures look professional. Many who do post these amazing pictures may have some photography background to begin with.)
While the one-upmanship game has been around since Darwinism to the Keeping-Up-with-the Jones' way standard, comparisonitis in excess can keep us from putting our own best foot forward. It's also a form of self-sabotage and in some ways procrastination.
Here are four reasons why you should let it go.
1. It's a distraction and an excuse not to take action on your own priorities.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Sure we may have feelings of insecurity, but who doesn't? And even those people at the top who seem like the Oprah Winfreys of their industry - they have their own doubts and fears at a much higher level. But the difference between them and the average person is that they keep going anyway, despite the fear.
In a world of seven billion people, there will always be people who can do things better than you and people who can't do things as well as you can. The ones who go pro probably put in about 10,000 hours to get to where they're at if you're using Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers concept.
2. It gives away your personal power.
We all have high standards but excellence doesn't happen right away. It does take some blood, sweat and tears. When we put others on a pedestal and not give ourselves the permission to practice, to make mistakes along the way, then we truly give away our power to someone else and allow them to make the decisions for us whether unconsciously or not. Well, you may seemingly need improvement in one area but that does not mean you won't get to the next level of where you want to be in life? You can decide to take the next, immediate step.
3. Imperfect action is what's going to move you forward.
Stop looking at other people's stuff because it's a complete waste of time. It's like a practice run I had in Central Park in New York City. All the elite runners sprinted past us, and us average runners were left behind kind of panicking if we'll ever get to the same level. The announcer must have seen the looks on our faces and read our minds as he told us all to just "Run your own race." We all had to kind of laugh at ourselves.
All that energy and focus we put on seeing how much better someone else is and not us could have been time and energy focused on improving our own craft in whatever area of life that is. Again, these elite runners certainly did their 10,000 hours. But maybe us average runners could have focused on improving on our time or distance from the previous week. We just needed to set our own parameters.
4. Saying everything has been done before anyway is just a B.S. excuse not to get your stuff done.
You might have said to yourself, "They're doing it better than me" or "I have nothing to offer." We can choose how much time and energy we spend looking around the Internet at other's greatness and not our own.
But if you're honest, everything in the world HAS been covered, it's really how you put your own spin on something. And you don't have to be the "Oprah" of your industry or "Ira Glass" for that matter if you're in the creative world. (See Ira Glass' video on creatives here.) You just have to be a little further ahead than your target audience or the market that you wish to serve. This is where self-knowledge comes in. Know what value you yourself bring and see where you can differentiate yourself from those who may seem "better than you."
Understand your own uniqueness. One person may thrive where you feel you need improvement, however you may totally rock at something they struggle with. Everyone on this earth has a gift. It's up to you to uncover that gift, your value, and share it with the world. It's up to you not to get discouraged and keep moving on no matter what. If anything, comparisonitis should motivate you to do better and be your best self.
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Because no one knows better than you what helps you de-stress and tap into that place of peace inside yourself, it's important for you to create your very own GPS guide -- a personalized collection of whatever helps you course-correct. Email us at GPS@huffingtonpost.com and we'll set you up with your very own HuffPost blogger account to share your guide on the site. If you're already a blogger, we encourage you to upload your personal guide today. We can't wait to see what you have to share.