We all have been enticed by the urge to compare ourselves to others from time to time; after all, we like to feel like we’re contributing positively to the world as a species and want to see how we measure up to others. However, this can become a potentially toxic, harmful practice if you compare your journey to others frequently. Nothing good comes from comparing ourselves to others; when we do this, we tend to feel defeated, worthless, and like we will never be good enough. It serves no purpose other than to bring us down into a state of misery, making us believe we lack certain traits that others somehow have to make them more successful, beautiful, exciting, worldly, etc.
If you compare yourself to others more often than not, you can nip this habit in the bud by following the tips below.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Here are five ways to stop comparing yourself to others:
1. Acknowledge the habit of comparing yourself to others.
We must first recognize these behaviors to stop this cycle of comparing ourselves to others, feeling down about ourselves, and falling into a continual trap of self-doubt. When you see yourself sizing others up and evaluating your “performance” compared to theirs, just remember that you will never feel good by doing this. Ask yourself, “Why should I keep comparing myself to other people if it will only bring me down in the end?” Then, redirect your thoughts to something that makes you feel good, like seeing your friends later in the day, or the recent school or work project you did that went well, or anything that makes your confidence soar.
No one else can make you feel inferior except you, so just remember that we all have been given the same opportunities, and every day is a new chance to change our relationships with ourselves.
2. Limit your use of social media.
Of course, social media sites have their perks, such as connecting people in two different parts of the world and enabling them to share parts of their day with each other. However, it can hinder your mental health if you log on every five minutes to check other people’s profiles and compare your life to theirs. You know the feeling..you get on Instagram and see profiles of young, fit-looking women traveling the world, somehow earning money to do so, hanging out with tons of cool people, and suddenly feel useless and depressed. You want their life and no longer feel proud or happy with yours.
When you do get on social media accounts, make sure you post things that make you feel good about yourself so you don’t wallow in sorrow from comparing yourself to others. Also, remember that you don’t know the full details of people’s lives, and they usually only showcase the highlights of their days. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, so just consider that the next time you find yourself comparing them to you.
3. Focus on all the great qualities about yourself rather than what you believe you lack.
The sole reason that comparing ourselves to others is so dangerous is that it takes away our power and makes us believe we just can’t ever reach the same level as those people we idolize. However, remember that you don’t consist of just flaws and mistakes; you have many wonderful traits and strengths if you just focus on the good within you.
We are much harder on ourselves than we really should be and can even conjure up stories about ourselves in our heads that aren’t even true. A mind is a powerful tool, so use it to empower yourself, not destroy.
4. Realize that everyone has unique strengths, including you.
Building on the last point, your strengths will look different than someone else’s. Maybe they have always been good at math and science, able to solve problems at the drop of a hat. However, maybe you excel in the arts and have taken on painting or writing as a hobby or career. Our differences make us beautiful because no one can ever copy our true nature. Recognize and embrace your individuality, and continue to learn from others who excel in different areas of life than you. Rather than feeling threatened by them, see their abilities as an opportunity to learn new things, and teach them what you know.
We all came here to teach and learn, so remember that you have wonderful talents and gifts just waiting to be unwrapped and shared with others. Please don’t continue comparing your achievements to those of others.
5. Understand that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Like we said before, you don’t know the whole story behind someone’s life. They might show all the positive moments in their life and glorify them on social media, but what about the crippling self-doubt they sometimes feel? Or the fight they just had with their spouse? Or the nonstop hustle and bustle that they endure daily? You usually don’t see these things on social media. Even if you know someone in person, they may not reveal their life’s true picture.
Be grateful for the life you’ve been given, and instead of tearing yourself down by comparing yourself to others, lift yourself up by recognizing that you’re a beautiful being from the cosmos with a limitless ability to shape your life into whatever you want it to become.
Final Thoughts on Comparing Yourself to Other People
It is only natural to look up to others for inspiration. But it becomes unhealthy when that drive to succeed becomes a daily act of comparing yourself. You owe it to yourself to enjoy every moment of life–and comparison will only leave you feeling stuck in the mud. So be kind to yourself, free your mind from this harmful habit and live your best life according to YOU.