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The necessity of comparison

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #324125

    XYZ
    Participant

    I have an unhealthy sense of purpose and inspiration. If I don’t compare myself with others, I’m not at all motivated. I fear if I stop comparing myself with others and stop feeling envious, I would lose all sense of purpose and I would spend my entire time surfing web, watching TV and reading novels. I escape from hard work, don’t want to leave my comfort zone and if there was no jealousy in my life, I would be a good for nothing person. I don’t have motivation or drive, and I work hard only because I don’t want to be the last. My sense of purpose is guided more by what I don’t want than what I want. I know it’s not at all a healthy way of life but I’m such a directionless person. I would appreciate your insights on how to deal with this.

    #324129

    XYZ
    Participant

    I’m not even sure that I want to stop this comparison habit because then I fear I won’t work hard and I don’t want to be left behind. I don’t know how a person can be so ambitionless like me. I always blame others, make excuses but I fear I’ll be left behind only because of me. I don’t know how other people are so ambitious, driven and hard working?

    #324175

    anita
    Participant

    Dear XYZ:

    I think that “this comparison habit” is a mental habit, an obsession- something you are in the habit of doing, used to doing it, and it is uncomfortable to stop doing it, just like any other strong habit. You have to figure out first if this is a healthy habit for you or an unhealthy habit- is it serving you or hurting you.

    This obsession keeps you busy with comparing yourself to others, feeling jealous and angry as you compare, so you don’t have the mental energy for ambition, rendering you..”ambitionless”.

    anita

    #324191

    XYZ
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I know comparison is unhealthy but I feel it’s the only thing which can help me survive. Without it, I don’t have any motivation to grow and I become complacent. Without comparison, I don’t have any goals.

    #324235

    anita
    Participant

    Dear XYZ:

    On one hand you wrote that “comparison is unhealthy”, and on the other hand you wrote that “it’s the only thing which can help me survive. Without it, I don’t have any motivation to grow”-

    – something that helps you survive is a healthy thing, isn’t it?

    – something that is your only motivation to grow is a healthy thing, isn’t it?

    anita

    #324321

    XYZ
    Participant

    I am confused about this. On a surface level, I know envy is bad and I should stay away from it, but deep down, I feel I would stop working hard if I remove envy from my life. I don’t have self discipline and envy keeps me straying far from my path but envy also makes me less grateful and accepting. I can’t appreciate my life due to envy. I want to be more grateful, accepting but comparison makes me angry and resentful.

    #324385

    anita
    Participant

    Dear XYZ:

    To try and help you with your confusion I need more information regarding what you shared in your previous thread:

    1. “I wasn’t warmly accepted by kids of my age.. People made fun of me”- can you elaborate on this: who said what to you?

    2. “I become obsessed with fictional characters and stories”- can you tell me about those fictional characters and stories, not at length?

    anita

    #324521

    XYZ
    Participant

    Dear Anita,
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>As a kid, I couldn’t fit in with other kids. I was too bad at sports. Even when I tried to participate in cultural competitions, teachers never selected me saying that I didn’t have it in me to be a good singer or dancer. Kids made fun of me that I wasn’t good at anything except studies. I was also a too cautious kid, not wanting to do anything ‘wrong’ or ‘harmful’. I’m still a scared person. I can’t do many normal things and I’m dependent on my mother and sister because I think I’ ll do them wrong and harm myself. I can’t cook (except Noodles and tea), I have never burned a matchstick and I can’t do a lot of things that even an eleven year old can do.</p>
     

    My classmates, teachers and elders always said openly that my best friend deserved to be topper more than me and I was not as talented. I was always being compared against another person and my achievements were always downplayed. I always had to prove myself.

    When I was twelve, we relocated to a completely different state and town. Everything was different and I had a hard time adjusting to my new surroundings. So I watched television all time except when I was at school. Even as a kid, I always had a longing for something else, which manifested as whimsical ideas like digging my school ground for a mythical treasure I imagined when I was eight. Now, at twelve, I began imagining myself as a character in the TV show and started neglecting studies. Though I was still a topper, my enthusiasm and ambition was lost. I was so much into the fictional world. Since then, my enthusiasm for studies never returned. Though I’m not as invested in a fictional world now, still all the time I’m home after office, I either read stories/ novels or watch television. I have lost my drive to do anything. I don’t want to do anything except Netflix or reading novels.

    #324623

    anita
    Participant

    Dear XYZ:

    When teachers didn’t select you to sing and dance, when they selected other kids to sing and dance, you felt so very hurt, and angry, and jealous, so very jealous at the kids who were selected while you were left behind. No  wonder you don’t feel compassion for others who you see doing better than you do. It is natural to not wish well to  people we are angry at or jealous of. And then, you got angry at yourself for not singing and dancing well enough to be chosen.

    You think little of yourself, think you can’t do much that is right, other than studies. You don’t think of yourself as capable, so you don’t try. The thinking may be something like this: if I try to cook something more elaborate than noodles, I will mess up and then I will feel once again how inferior  I am, how incapable.

    “I was always compared against another person and my achievements were always downplayed”- I can almost touch your hurt and anger over all these years, as this happened, again and again.

    I suggest that you accept your failure being compared to others and exit that competition. Then enter a different kind of world where you compare yourself today to who  you were yesterday. Yesterday you didn’t light a matchstick. Today you will, for the first time in your life. The day after you will cook something other than noodles. Every day, do something new that you didn’t do the day before.

    Your escape into fantasy is motivated by your great frustration with the practical world of action, from lighting a matchstick to singing. Which brings me to another suggestion, if you haven’t tried it yet: when you are alone, play a song, have the words to the song on your computer screen, and sing along, loudly, with a strong voice.

    Exit the competition with other people and trying to prove yourself to other people. Enter a competition between yourself of today and yourself of yesterday. Prove yourself.. to yourself.

    Let me know how it feels, when you do these things I suggested, will you?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  anita.
    #324757

    XYZ
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you very much. Your words are exactly what I needed the most. I’ll follow your suggestions and let you know how I felt.

    #324817

    anita
    Participant

    Dear XYZ:

    You are welcome. I am looking forward to your next post.

    anita

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