Why Compare Yourself?


Something that has been on my mind lately is how often I am comparing myself to others. I don't feel that this is something I've always done, but seems to have ramped up over time. Frankly this doesn't even have that much to do with software development as much as life in general.

I feel like I used to be pretty confident in myself, and doing my own thing. I was OK with being on my own and entertaining myself. Now I find myself with just a general unease about where I am at and because of that constantly compare myself to others.

Others:
• Have more friends
• Do more fun things
• Have a significant other
• Are smarter

It is so easy to let your mind spiral into some of these directions. I would argue its not always bad since it just means your priorities are with these things, but you have to avoid beating yourself up over them.

You must understand that you are comparing the best of others, to the weaknesses of yourself. I have to say that social media has allowed comparing yourself to become so easy. Everyone is trying to one up each other and prove that their life is more exciting than yours.

I struggle sometimes with thinking I don't belong. I'm not athletic enough for my hockey friends, not as much of a gamer as my tech friends, and not cool enough for everyone else. As if I know what "cool" even means.

In comparing yourself to others you are bound to try and emulate them, and in the process lose part of your originality. I look up to the people who don't let others influence who they are, and those who just have a contagious joy for things.

I read an interesting article the other day from Todd Brison that intrigued me with the following:

Most of us avoid standing out in any way. It’s our deep desire to act like we don’t care about anything. Be bland. Don’t make noise. Fit in.

In return we don’t meet the people who want the same things we do. We don’t get the things we want to get. We don’t find the skills we need to find. Of course we don’t. They think we are just another person.

I can't really speak for all workplaces, but I feel that in tech it is sometimes rewarded to be a cynic. This can slowly wear on people.

I hope you can relate to this post, but this has been where my head is at lately. Thanks for reading :)

Thoughts? Hit me up on twitter @brenelz

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