Beware of the Negative Comparison Game – You Do You

Beware of the Negative Comparison Game - You Do You

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In this Current Events Friday’s Post (CE-Friday’s), Scott (from Making Momentum) will be letting you know why comparing your success against that of your peers is a waste of time and mental energy.


CE-Friday’s – “What you need to know today in less than 500 words”





Hello MikedUp Blog Readers and a big thanks to Mike for letting me contribute to CE Friday’s! It’s my pleasure to be back for a third time (Wins And Losses and Walks To Work Interview) on the site.  


Today I’m diving into something that has been on my mind lately. It also came up in recent conversations around the office when a coworker was talking about how much “further ahead in life” their friends from university are.


With that in mind, I say…don’t play the negative comparison game, do you and start big or start small, just start.



Don’t Play The Negative Comparison Game


There are 7.7 billion people in this world and we’re all unique. We each have our own story, influences, needs, wants and ambitions. Just like personal finances are personal, life and the specific route everyone of us takes is personal too.


But it can be so hard to not get caught up in what others are doing.


One of the toughest things to avoid in this digital age of social sharing and clout is playing the comparison game. Information that highlights others successes, amazing beach vacations, promotions, raises, debt payoff stories, fancy cars and so on is readily available with a click of a mouse or tap of the phone screen.


That ease of access can get you stuck in the spiral of wondering why you aren’t doing that or why you don’t have that.


If you’ve found that to be a struggle for you, put down the phone for a bit. Stay off Instagram, close Facebook and steer clear of the online communities that are driving those negative feelings.  


Learn how to stop comparing yourself to others (with a negative approach or mindset).



Use It To Fuel The Fire


Or better yet, use other’s successes as fuel to your fire. Learn from what they’ve done, ask questions, dive deeper to gain that knowledge and aspire to reach similar heights. Springboard the wins of others into your own momentum.


Never stop learning and use the traits of successful people to help you do do.


For example, as my coworker was discussing: “Dave paid off $42,000 in student loans and already owns a house…and I’m still struggling with my debt and renting”.


Well did you ask Dave what he did to make gains with his finances? Does he have any tips or resources for you to learn from? What were the biggest lifestyle changes he made to get there? How can you replicate the wins he had? Have you read any blogs, books or articles on personal finances? What’s one thing (big or small) Dave did to accomplish those things that you can implement today?


Flip that feeling of shame, envy, and discouragement into the opportunity to learn, get inspired and get started.



Start Big, Start Small. Just Start.


Want to lose weight? Don’t wait for the perfect workout apparel, equipment or gym membership discount to eventually get going.


Get up right now and do 25 jumping jacks, 25 crunches, and 25 bodyweight squats. Get on your bike and go for a ride. Head to the local indoor pool and start swimming laps. Grab that dog leash and take your dog for a nice long, extended walk.


Heck, Mike has some amazing insights on how to workout for free.


Want to start to take control of your personal finances? Dive into some of the free money education resources that are readily available to help you improve your financial literacy. Podcasts, books, online communities from the Reddit personal finance subs…learn from others and connect as a means to get inspired and begin to master your money in small steps.


Start big, start small. Just get started no matter what area in your personal or professional life you’re looking to make momentum with.


Don’t compare yourself to others successes with that negative mindset or intention to feel shame. Use the wins and valuable lessons from others as a source of motivation.


In the words of the great Albert Einstein, “learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning”.



How do you handle the internal struggle of negative comparisons? Let us know in the comments below!



Scott is a Canadian millennial situated in Ontario that runs Making Momentum. Making Momentum is a personal finance and personal development website for the everyday person. The content shared aims to help readers compound wins, both big and small, into the momentum that can help take control of your money and life. (Mike: And I’m thrilled that Scott raised his hand again to contribute to MikedUp Blog. He’s a great dude and a great writer)


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  1. Very well written post and highlights the problem with social media permeating society.

    Of course everyone is going to put their best foot forward in the social world and only speak of the successes and the trips etc. Not too many people are going to post on Instagram their mortgage due or student loan balances.

    So we get a very skewed look of everyone else while we have the complete picture of our own life to judge it against, which is completely unfair.

    1. Such a great point, XRay – we’re all seeing the highlight reels here, and that can be an issue. The few posts I have detailing mistakes I’ve made tend to perform much better than the – “Hey! We crushed ___ – here’s how!”

      People are real and I think the want to see more reality. Thanks so much for your enlightening comments!

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