Date: September 29, 2016

Author: Tedx POS Team



The Danger of Comparison

Reality deeply sunk in one morning while I was scrolling through my Facebook feeds and after being reminded of a few of my old classmate’s birthdays, I did what most people would do, macociouly scroll through their profile and observing how life has been treating them after all these years. Pictures of beautiful homes, significant others, children, travel pics and brand new luxury SUVs flooded these profiles and I guess it would be only natural to compare my life to theirs.

While it was great to see how well some of my old school friends are doing, there was a strong level of discomfort and disappointment internally. These thoughts usurped my entire morning and I actually noticed how it negatively affected my productivity that day. I needed an intervention.

I thought about a conversation I had with one of my mentors, Scott Hilton-Clarke where he said

“the biggest mistake you can make is comparing yourself with your friends or circle of company”.

This was something I always preached and agreed with however I still continue to practice this harmful habit. Why do we do it? I’m not going to ramble about how we are programmed to compare ourselves with others from since childhood…that’s for another blog. Instead, I will share what has worked for me and how I was able to intervene from a negative and harmful habit that almost took over my identity.

Fact: everyone has a different path.

We are wired to think or dream of a desirable, linear and somewhat seamless path will exist providing that we follow what our parents, teachers or leaders we look up to have taught us. Reality has a funny way of showing us alternatives to this seamless path and sometimes that path is filled with more obstacles than an episode of ‘Survivor’..but that’s okay. In fact I think that is almost necessary.

Fact: Comparison puts focus on the wrong person

When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we are wasting the energy that could have been used to focus on yourself and better yourself

Fact: Comparisons are not truly accurate

When we compare ourselves with others, we are usually comparing the worst of ourselves to our ASSumed best of others…not accurate.

Given these facts, how then can we prevent ourselves from falling into the trap of comparing? The first one is a given—

Be aware of your achievements and success

Whether you are a singer, writer, professional of ‘whateverness’ or student, you have a unique story and perspective that is backed with experiences and gifts. With all of that in front of you, become more intimately aware of your past success and motivate yourself to pursue more.

I mean…If you’re gonna compare, why not compare with yourself!

We should focus on trying to be the best version of ourselves not just for ourselves but for the benefit of others in terms of what we can offer to others. Take care of your physical, emotional and spiritual being. Try to grow a bit more every single day and celebrate your achievements without comparing them to others…and finally….

Remember that nobody is perfect!

Everyone has a story and everyone has their own neuroses! Nobody is living a painless life. For every triumph there is an obstacle to overcome.

While what we see may only be the result of someone else overcoming a struggle, keep in mind there was one. Everyone has or is going through an obstacle of their own whether you are close enough to know or not.

This is not always an easy task, trust me, I have to remind myself these things every single day. But in order to move forward and achieve, we cannot fall into the habit of comparison.

By Cheyenne Baptiste
TEDxPOS Volunteer

3 Responses to “The Danger of Comparison”

  • Julie September 30, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Wise words. Looking forward to 6 October

  • Yohan Ragoonath September 30, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I think comparing yourself to others is a natural and healthy thing. It gives you motivation in order to reach for something more. Instead of focusing on yourself which is a selfish act, think of what good is in another person so that you can adopt and copy it. We live in a world with people and I think it’s important to keep connected with others in an already disconnected world. There is comparison in the wrong way and then in the right way. Focus on yourself yes when dealing with the wrong people but when dealing with the right people compare so much with and to them.

  • Reema October 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Beautifully written and on point. As individuals and with the age of technology and statuses we are constantly doing this comparison – Facebook, LinkedIn, Whatsapp etc. While to certain extent I do agree that its natural and drives us forward, I am of the belief that most of us are demotivated and feel ‘less than’ after the comparisons. The writer I think is on point with the fact that these representations are perfect snapshots >> after all – don’t we vet our pics several times and only post the prettiest ones?


Newsletter Sign up:

Receive information about our upcoming conference events, salons, ideas worth sharing and other developments as they happen. It's quick and easy. Simply insert your email address and name in the fields below and click subscribe. That's it.

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxPortofSpain, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxPortofSpain event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. Learn more about TEDx. Learn more about TEDx

Like us on Facebook

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED. TEDxPortofSpain is hosted by Demming Communications, and 868Change in collaboration with Village Seed Solutions.
Website developed and maintained by {emircostudios}.

scroll to top