With lists like the Forbes 30 under 30 and exposure to people highlighting their accomplishments online, it's easy to be in your 20s dealing with the comparison game.
Since entering my 20s, I've struggled with comparing my life to my peers. In college, I kept up with all the LinkedIn internship announcements and spring break trips people went on. However, recently, my doom-scrolling on Instagram and TikTok has made me question if the life I'm living is exciting. I'm not posting exotic countries I visit every three weeks, and I don't have an influencer career taking off.
I believe comparison in all forms at its root reflects how we feel about ourselves and the groups we are part of. We think we need to do better than we are to be equal or better than those we're interacting with or watching. However, this thinking is harmful and I'll explain what has helped me navigate this.
For example, two individuals on health journeys want to track their results in a three-month timeframe. One person does consistent strength training five days a week and is in a calorie deficit. The other person supplements some foods, but their physical activity is 30-minute walks five days a week. Their results by the three-month mark will be completely different because their inputs are different.
Now you might ask how this example translates when you and someone else are putting in the same effort toward something, but you are nowhere near their success. I say there's no magic formula to achieving anything in this life.
I like to use the nepotism babies as an example of this. You could've started acting classes at the same time, gone to the same acting school, worked on your craft the same number of hours and followed the exact formula as [insert successful actresses name]. Still, because of that person's access to the industry from an early age, they're likely to have better success at landing a lead role early in their career than you.
Just because something works out for someone in a certain way doesn't mean it will for you, and that's okay. In all areas of life, there will always be someone smarter, more talented, or performing better than you. I believe navigating the comparison game in your 20s is fixing yourself on what your genuine goals and aspirations are and charting a path to achieve them in your own timeline, releasing unhealthy pressure.
I'm learning that success should be subjective, and in time you will reap all that you sow.