Obsessive Comparison Disorder

“The key to success is comparing yourself to everyone, everyday. Then let that anxiety and fear propel you to work harder, faster, and with more motivation.”~ Guy Who Had a Nervous Breakdown at 32 Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the smallpox of our generation.

Nine out of 10 doctors agree that this new OCD is the leading cause to eating two boxes of Girl Scout cookies while watching The Bachelor.

So what exactly is Obsessive Comparison Disorder and more importantly, is there a cure?

Obsessive Comparison Disorder Defined

Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the disease I’ve coined to describe our compulsion to constantly compare ourselves with others, producing unwanted thoughts and feelings that drive us to depression, consumption, anxiety, and all-around joyous discontent.

It’s a habit from hades itself.

We used to have to wait until our ten-year reunion to look our friends and frienemies up and down. But now with social media we have the privilege of comparing ourselves to everyone. Every. Single. Day.

What a blessing.

You can step into the back of the line at the grocery store feeling great about your life and before you make it to the checkout, you’re ready to take the store up on the discount available when you buy six bottles of wine at the same time.

Like having to run outside to light up a cigarette, our addiction to comparing is uncontrollable and killing us with every puff. How do we cure this new form of OCD?


3 Ways to Curb Your Obsessive Comparison Disorder

1. Put on blinders

If you look at a horse that’s carrying a carriage out in public, the horse will usually have blinders on. Blinders keep them from being distracted or freaked out by the noise of the peripheral. Blinders force them to focus on what’s exactly in front of them, and nothing else.

We all need a set of blinders. We need to be Forward-Focused. What set of blinders can you put on that will help you look straight ahead?

If we took all the energy we waste comparing ourselves with those running next to us, how much farther could we run our own race?

2. Cut back on Internet and TV

My guilty pleasure used to be watching House Hunters International. It was never premeditated, but like drinking that third beer, it seemed like a good idea once I found myself there.

Yet by the end of the show, looking around my spaciously-small LA apartment, I’d begin to wonder how I ended up such a gigantic failure. Here’s this married couple debating about which beach house on St. Lucia was them, and I’m still carting a gigantic pile of dirty clothes to the laundromat.

The Internet and TV takes your Prius-Sized Comparison Problem and turns it into a Hummer, guzzling energy for no good reason other than to try and look cool.

I just had to learn how to say no to TV. Cutting your Internet use and TV time in half is the best medication for OCD that money can’t buy.

3. Celebrate What You Do

Celebrate what you do. Don’t obsess about everything you don’t.

Be inspired by others’ stories but don’t let their story dwarf yours.

Don’t let Obsessive Comparison Disorder devour with Bubonic- Plagueness creativity, energy, and peace—three vital characteristics you are going to need to rock your 20s.

We need to sail our own ship instead of drowning trying to swim to everyone else’s. 

This post is adapted from Paul Angone’s book 101 Secrets for your Twenties. Paul Angone is the author of 101 Secrets for your Twenties, as well as a speaker, humorist, and the creator of AllGroanUp.com— a place for those asking “what now?” Follow him on Twitter @PaulAngone.

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