It seems we are conditioned and wired to compare ourselves with others. Comparison criteria are most often unknowingly imposed to us by society or what we generally refer to as the system. We just unconsciously and automatically accept the so-called norms by which we compare others and measure our success. We do not realise that we have ceased to be our own authority. That the success criteria we follow are not 100% ours.
From a young age we have been indoctrinated to compare ourselves with others. Family compared us to others to set the “right” example. Mass media, advertising and entertainment acts as a type of propaganda that promotes and imposes notions of social norms; personal success and accepted behaviour. The education system is based on comparison and grouping. Educators find it convenient to follow the easy way of comparing and categorising students as good and bad according to their test results. Children copy their teachers and extend comparing into so many things.
It seems we are in a constant state of comparison. We do not listen to ourselves; to what we really want. We are unconsciously convinced that in order to be accepted by others we have to follow the mainstream definition of what is success and that we have to be classified as better than others in order to be successful. Basically we have turned into copycats; always trying to copy the one that fits the notion of success. Most of us have experienced at least a momentary feeling of distress when a friend of acquaintance achieves something that we do not have. Comparing is a never ending story; you compare yourself to less fortunate people and feel fortunate, then you compare yourself to those you perceive more successful and feel inadequate.
In reality we are all different. We cannot all abide by the same standards of success. What is really success? Is it not about being happy and following your talent, inclinations and personal aspirations? An unknown writer once wrote “The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday.”