How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the most famous quotes about comparison is by Theodore Roosevelt – “Comparison is the thief of joy”. This probably rings true for you, just like it does for most people. But just because you know comparisons aren’t good for you, doesn’t mean it is easy to stop. Here are some simple things you can do to stop comparing yourself to others so much, and start living your authentic self.
Take Back What Belongs to You
Comparing ourselves to others often leaves us feeling frustrated, anxious, and paralyzed about moving forward. It doesn’t help one single bit in creating the life we want. Instead, it just takes away valuable time and energy that could have been spent on building our future.
Whenever you focus on what other people have that you don’t, you give away your power. Every minute spent on comparing your path to someone else’s is a minute lost on creating your own.
So, take back your power from all the people, places, and situations where you’ve left it and bring it back home. Decide that your energy will be used for believing, not doubting, and for creating, not destroying.
Focus on you. Focus on watering your grass and building your path. Focus on being the best that you can be and share that with the rest of us.
Understand Why Comparing Yourself is a Bad Thing
Why is comparison a bad thing? Because it doesn’t serve you. There are no benefits to constantly looking at your life compared to other people’s lives. It is an unfair way to treat yourself and it can keep you from truly living an authentic life and just expressing who you are. It can be hard at first to stop comparing yourself to others, but as long as you understand why it’s a bad thing, you will be a lot more motivated to start just being true to yourself.
You can’t change something you don’t acknowledge. So, instead of resisting or fighting where you are, come to peace with it. Say yes to every part of your life, and from that place, make decisions that will move you in the right direction.
Appreciate and Celebrate Your Strengths
Everyone has strengths, and they are often different from other people. This is a good thing! Take some time to appreciate what yours are, and celebrate them. It might help to make a list of all your skills, traits, and strengths. Write down what you have accomplished, how you are unique, and what you love about yourself. Add to this list whenever you think of something new. Remember every single thing you wrote down is what makes you, you.
I’ve written previously about developing awareness about the impact of your social media posts on others. I stopped posting pictures from my vacations years ago. Share those, perhaps, with a limited audience, maybe close family and friends who really want to see them. But…ask yourself first if they really want to see them. Before you show anything to anyone, review what you know about their life. When’s the last time they went on a tropical vacation?
Maybe they dream of going to the tropics but have never had (and may never have) the opportunity. You’d be surprised how many people don’t actually enjoy pictures of you lounging by a clear blue sea with a coconut drink in your hand.
How about you?
Do you notice a negative impact on your thoughts, mood and life satisfaction when you scroll?
Have you given thought to how the things you post might negatively impact others?
Could there be a way of posting and participating in social media which would be less curated, more real, and less about showing off?
Give Gratitude Every Day
Take some time out of your day to say what you are grateful for. Remember gratitude doesn’t always have to be big things. In fact, most of the time they might seem small and meaningless, but that’s the point. We spend so much time just living our lives on autopilot, that we don’t stop and appreciate every blessing we have. Get a journal so that you can write down what you are grateful for every day.
Know Your Triggers
There may be some triggers from other people, the media, or the outside world that tend to cause you to compare yourself more often. If you notice that you tend to start comparing yourself more, and feeling bad about it, when scrolling Instagram, then it’s time to back away from that platform for now. The triggers are different for everyone, but understanding what they are is the first step to improving your self-esteem and mental health.
Acknowledge How Others Are Different, Not Better
It is okay to see how others are different in their appearance, talents, skills, and routines. But you are just appreciating that other people are different from you, not that they are better than you. There is a big difference here and it is an important one. Everyone is unique, and nobody is better than anyone else. Appreciate others, appreciate yourself, and find beauty in how it all comes together.