Confidence, Comparison, and How Your Insecurities Are Bought And Sold

They say comparison steals joy, but it’s worse than that. Comparison steals everything you really want to have, be, and find fulfillment in.

The biggest trap of consciousness is comparing, judging, and measuring ourselves against the people around us.

Another word for this is envy.

Envy: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.

Do they make more money? Are they better looking? Is their car nicer? More expensive?  Are they better at sex? A better communicator? Are they smarter? Stronger? Happier?

Here is the real truth about why you’re not happy, I call it Social Status Syndrome (or Triple Syndrome).  Everyone suffers from it at some point.

If you have Triple Syndrome you’ll constantly compare yourself to others — you’ll compare your happiness, your life path, money, and everything else.

Have you ever looked at others’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat updates and found yourself wishing for their life, wanting their level of happiness, wealth, or success?

It’s a trap.

Don’t compare your real life to someone else’s online persona.

Your life isn’t the total sum of Facebook updates or ‘epic’ handstand photos at the top of a mountain. It’s not about the hearts on Instagram, the thumbs up on Facebook or the number of retweets you get.

This is your life, man. Don’t trade it for little bumps of digital cocaine.

Remember this:

You’re either buying into someone else’s idea of what life should be, or you’re selling your idea of what life should be.

Ask yourself: “Am I a seller or a buyer?”

These are the sellers:

Every personal development ‘guru,’ action junkie, famous celebrity, and brand is ‘selling’ you an idea or concept of what your life could be like. I’m not knocking the sellers. Some are positive and others are negative.

And yes, ManTalks is a seller. We’re a brand that stands for and promotes the concept of positive masculinity and connected, strong, powerful, and fulfilled men.

I founded ManTalks partly out of disgust and despair. I was tired of seeing so many brands and people perpetuating the same false (and insecure) version of masculinity.

Think of us as the anti-Dan Bilzerian. Ever heard of him?

He’s the perfect macho stereotype — a jacked-up dude with ladies hanging on his shoulders and bags of cash.

He’s the ‘dude’ most guys think they should be and has become Internet famous by appealing to the narcissist living within each of us.

But he’s a great example of comparison marketing.

Every day millions of guys look at his Instagram and envy every part of the persona he’s created.

Then they come back to reality and realize they’ve been scrolling through his Instagram feed for 45 minutes and that the biggest accomplishment of their day was five straight hours of Netflix.

This might be hard to realize, but his life is NOT better than yours.

He’s selling a pipe dream, paying for sex, and doing crazy shit. And he’s doing it just so you can get a hit of guilt for not being ‘man enough.’ Cars, cash, women, and parties are all psychological triggers aimed to sell you something.

He is selling to your insecurities.

Now, I’m not one to squash dreams, so if you truly want that in life then please by all means go for it. Just know that you will get there and feel empty. Money and endless amounts of women will not fill the black hole you feel due to a lack of direction and purpose in life.

If it just fills your wallet or empties your balls, you’ll never be satisfied.

If your sole purpose is just making money or getting laid, you’re going to feel miserable and lost at some point. Trust me, I have tried.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with money and sex. I’m very much an advocate for money and sex. But we need to go deeper. Dan Bilzerian and ManTalks are both sellers. Vastly different products mind you, but we’re both sellers.

Then there are the buyers.

The buyers want to find their place in the world. They want to find a tribe or community they belong to. Rather than trying to promote a culture or belief, they simply want to belong.

We’re all buyers to some degree. We’re all looking for a model to follow. The key here is to buy into something worthwhile. Something that fulfills your mind, heart, and soul.

So how do we know what to buy? What things, experiences, people, or ideas are fulfilling?

Here is what worked for me:

1. Realize that there’s no such thing as a life better than yours.

Are you comparing your life, financial success or happiness to someone else?


Let go of the need to make yourself feel like shit.

His life is no better than yours. His problems are no less pressing, and his struggles, although different, are no less of a struggle.

The biggest lie in human history is thinking that everyone around us somehow has it better.

My dad had a saying that I still live by to this day: “The grass is always greener on the other side because bullshit helps grass grow.”

So how do we combat constant comparison?


I’m sure you’ve read or heard about the power of gratitude. You might even be thinking, “Oh great. Gratitude. Is Connor going to go all woo-woo on me here?” 

You might know about gratitude. But you can know about something and still never do anything about it. You’ll never know the power of this until you practice it.

I recommend starting a gratitude practice of some sort and keeping it simple. For me it’s as simple as  not getting out of bed in the morning before finding three things I’m grateful for.

By being grateful for what you have, who you are, and what you’re building in life you stop comparing yourself.

2. Buy to fill your soul, not your ego.

Want an easy indicator of what you’ve bought into?

Check your social media. Who do you follow? What photos show up the most on your news feed? The people and brands you follow are a reflection of what you have bought into.

If your social stream is a never ending parade of half naked women, shameless selfies, shit you can’t afford, and other people you’ve put on a pedestal it means your ego has maxed out your attention credit card.

Remember, you don’t just buy things with money, you buy with your time and attention.

Think of it this way:

The average man will have about 27,375 days to spend. This equates to 657,000 hours or roughly 39,420,520 minutes.

That’s it. That’s a life. You never get a moment back.

Now if you’re like me, you’ve spent many hours chasing purely ego based endeavors like drinking your face off, trying to get laid, showing off, or working a job you didn’t like because it stroked your ego.

Look at you, you big stud, you get to wear a suit and be ‘special.’

Imagine that those days and minutes are dollars and you are spending them right now. How does that make you feel? Now remember that your minutes and hours are infinitely more valuable than dollars. Spend them wisely.

Find the things that fill your soul and leave you feeling like your life is truly meaningful.

Start doing these things every day and soon you will find others comparing their life to yours, wondering what your secret is.

3. Stop living to impress and start living to contribute.

Look, no one really gives a shit what brand your shirt is, or how much your jeans cost. Did you buy your car because it will impress people or because you just love driving it?

When we stop living to impress other people, we can start truly contributing to others. We simply can’t do this when in survival mode or when focused on showing others how ‘together’ we have our lives.

It’s only when we start to be truly present for others and listen to them without shoving our opinions in their face, then we become valuable to them.

Feeling like we matter….

This is all anyone wants, to know we matter and that our life means something.

Look for ways to give back to others. This can be as simple as listening to them for 20 straight mins while they brain dump about their day, bitch about a co-worker, or share their darkest secrets.

Contribution isn’t just about giving money to charities or volunteering your time. It’s how you show up every minute, every hour, and every day of your 27,375 days.

By reminding others they matter, you will also be reminded that your life has value.

“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.” – Tony Robbins

Do you want to feel more fulfilled and happy each and every day? Ask yourself this:

Did I contribute today?

If you can successfully answer YES to this simple question everyday, your life will dramatically change.

So the next time you’re scrolling through Facebook seeing someone’s amazing photos as they jump off a cliff, test drive a Ferrari, or move into some baller ass mansion you can’t afford just remind yourself, “There’s no such thing as a life that’s better than mine.”

Read more by Connor Beaton on the ManTalks Blog:

5 Epic Questions to Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose


Connor BeatonConnor Beaton is the founder of ManTalks.

Check out his incredible TEDx talk here. And follow him on Facebook (where he does live video regularly) to stay up to date with all his teachings, lessons, and insights.

Sign up to the ManTalks newsletter and every week we’ll send you an email with the week’s top articles and interviews.

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