Living in The Age of Comparison Anxiety

"Your item is out for delivery."

I was ecstatic to see this notification the day my newly ordered MacBook Pro was scheduled to arrive.

My old laptop was giving me trouble in my day-to-day work, and I had ordered this laptop, hoping it would be a breath of fresh air in my workflow.

Also:

You always get this rush of joy with a new purchase. No matter how small or big it is.

But, ironically:

A feeling of anxiety kicked in as soon as I booted my new laptop for the first time.

"Is my laptop as fast as they say in the reviews?"

"Is the battery lasting long enough for me, or did my friend get a better piece which stays on longer?"

"Wait, what? I saw the macOS spinning wheel while launching an app. Did I get a slow and faulty laptop?"

All these negative emotions clouded the feeling of enjoying this beautiful piece of machinery.

A similar experience happened when I bought my first car.

I was 100% happy and content with my decision to buy the model I chose.

It felt like the perfect fit for my family.

But, then:

A few of my friends bought bigger, better cars, and I started second-guessing my decision.

"Did I buy the wrong car?"

"Should I have gone for one with the fancy features like hill assist and cruise mode?"

Not a happy feeling when you've just shelled out a ton of money on a 2-month old purchase.

A feeling that I like to call comparison anxiety.

You downplay your happiness by comparing yourself to others.

And it happens to all of us.

In the age of social media and showing off, comparison anxiety is more infectious than ever.

During these situations, what I've found to be incredibly helpful is asking yourself this:

"Is this purchase or decision working out for me?"

Returning to the MacBook example, the answer was a resounding yes.

The laptop was everything and more than what I wanted for my work.

It was fast enough for me to work smoothly on various Hulry projects like writing blog posts, developing the summaries website, creating the blog theme, and more.

The benchmarks I had previously visualised, like Adobe Lightroom launching in 2 seconds flat, didn't matter.

I don't sit down with a timer every time I need to process some photos.

So:

My satisfaction shifted from external benchmarks to internal ones.

Like, am I able to process photos on this laptop without hiccups?

Yes.

Similarly, I love driving my car.

It's comfortable and easy enough for me to have a peaceful drive.

Maybe I'll opt-in for fancier features like cruise mode when I buy my next car, but this one works just fine for now.

Comparison anxiety is a quicksand that'll drown the joy in your life because there'll always seem to be a better choice than the one you made.

What matters is if your decision to do or buy something works out for you.

Remember this the next time you feel like shit over a decision.

The Hulry Newsletter

Be 1% better every week

Join others & continue your journey with more articles like this one and hand-picked:

  • Apps
  • Books
  • Twitter Threads
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
.

navigation-right-circle-1 Up next