Last Updated: December 21, 2017, 3:51 pm

Build immunity to comparisonitis


She’s the girl with fresh, manicured nails and an expensive haircut. She’s the girl who completes assignments early and gets perfect test scores. She’s the girl I compare myself to.

There is an epidemic among us: Comparisonitis. We compare everything from bodies to grades to personalities and cars. Amongst all the comparing, are we distracting ourselves from improving and valuing our authentic selves? 

I would be lying if I said I haven’t lain awake at night wondering why another person got a promotion instead of me. Things go through my mind like, Was that person more intelligent? More driven? Better looking? Is that person better than I am?

Comparison is all-consuming and is truly like an illness. We need to stop compulsively appraising ourselves and others and start focusing inward and cheering ourselves on.

I love going to the gym. My time exercising is a time I can solely think about and work on myself. But every now and then, I run into a person I like to call “Workout Barbie.”  You know who she is; she’s tan, beautiful and has thighs that look like they were sculpted by Michelangelo. When this girl gets on the treadmill next to me and starts running at a solid 6.8 mph, I come down with something: Comparisonitis.

I want to run faster than she does. I want her mid-summer tan in the midst of November. I want to be superior to her.

Why do those things go through my mind? I don’t know anything about “Workout Barbie,” and I shouldn’t evaluate her or myself on our endurance levels and shape of our thighs.

Instead of picking apart the qualities of others and glorifying bits and pieces of them I find attractive, I need to stop and consume myself with becoming the best me I can be. I need to look forward, keep running, push my own limits, and not worry about Barbie.

It’s easier said than done. I’m surrounded by brilliant people at Dixie State University, and sometimes it’s tough to be self-assured. Many of us are familiar with that sinking feeling you get when you see your friend receive a much better score on the midterm than you did. But I think I’ve got the solution: Don’t look at your friend’s score.

Stop looking at everyone else. It doesn’t matter what your friend got on a test; it matters what you got. It doesn’t matter what kind of flashy car that guy drives; it matters that you find a way to get the car you want.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and I think we all need to remember we can have happier, fuller lives if we stop comparing and start working toward our best self.