Whenever we try to be better we inevitably compare ourselves to others but you should only compare with yourself. Here’s why.
In most of the issues we address on these pages there are three contributory factors at play. Obviously what you do, the actions you take, is one of them. The other two are genetics and factors outside of your control.
Taking our skin as an example the first one, the actions we take, is pretty self explanatory. It’s the care we take of our skin, the treatments we go in for, our diet and other habits. It also takes in to consideration our historical actions and habits. This is the way our choices have affected, and are affecting, our skin. These are the things you have control over, the things you’re accountable for.
The second contributory factor is genetics. This is a big one and you have absolutely no control over it.
The third contributory factor is a very broad group that takes in all of the things that are (or were) out of your control. These include a lot of things that happened in your childhood, your diet for instance. For the sake of simplicity we include factors that, technically, you could change but wouldn’t really be considered a factor of a skin care regime. (We wouldn’t, for instance, consider changing your job and moving to a place with better air quality to be reasonable skin care advice.)
So now we’ve established that not all of your skin’s condition is down to the choices you make the question is – how much do your choices affect it? The answer is – a lot. Your skin care regime, diet, exercise, not smoking etc all have a big effect on the condition of your skin. And, when we’re doing the right things, we’re tempted to compare ourselves to others.
But comparing yourself to others doesn’t help you evaluate how well you’re doing at all. (And this applies to all aspects of life.) You don’t succeed at having the right genes. As discussed above there are too many other factors at play in another person’s condition for you to be able to say how well you’re doing compared to them.
The only real summit you can be expected to reach is the best version of yourself. All you can be is the best you. Once you realise that you’re released from all that damaging, pointless and completely hopeless comparing yourself to others.
Imagine what you might have been like if you’d made worse choices. Imagine what you still can be like if you make better ones. Compare to these versions of yourself.
Look at the hand you were dealt and play it as well as you can but only compare to yourself. No one else.