Many people struggle with comparison, myself included. Fortunately, not all comparison is negative. There are two types – temporal and social. Social is when we compare ourselves to others and this is often accompanied with envy, pride, or feelings of inadequacy. Temporal is when we compare ourselves – in the present and in the past – and focuses on self-improvement.
I still remember the awkward junior high and high school years that were plagued by social comparison. With the prevalence of social media, this undoubtedly has grown worse for young people as well as adults. The envy part of social thinks I wish I had your ability or your stuff. The pride part of social thinks “I’m better at a certain ability than you are or I have much better ___.”
As an entrepreneur, I have decided that temporal comparison serves me much better than social ever could. Temporal comparison has two sides that are both focused on self-improvement – the past and the future. The past focuses on how far you have come, and remember you are not comparing yourself to anyone else. I do this by celebrating my successes in a journal. The future envisions what is yet to come and where you hope to be in six months, in a year, or in three years? So you choose. Not all comparison is negative, you just have to pick the right one.