On our journey to self-love and in trying to achieve our goals, we often fall into comparison mode. Whether we compare ourselves to other people — how they seem happier, skinnier, smarter, more ‘with it’ than us — or we compare ourselves to an older version of our own self (I was much skinnier back then, or I used to make so much money before I got laid off), the results are equally detrimental.
You know that feeling . . . You’re bored so you start scrolling through Instagram, liking puppy pictures and photos of pretty coffee cups, when you come across it. A humblebrag from one of your friends. Maybe it’s a friend announcing she’s finally been able to quit her desk job to start her own business (or something to that effect).
And BOOM! The instant flash of envy sets in, along with a sharp kind of panic. How come she was able to achieve so much in so little time? How is she that skilled? She must be better than you, have more friends, be more successful. You just probably have the personality that never succeeds. And you’re going to live in this tiny studio with your tiny paycheck for the rest of eternity.
Comparison robs our joy. This habit hinders our happiness more often than any other self-sabotaging technique. It will walk around with us and rule our thoughts if we’re not careful.
If we want to truly love ourselves, we need to look at comparison for what it really is — fear — and address the underlying issue. This is why it’s important to look at how comparison is playing a role in our lives.
Here’s 7 Ways on how to stop comparing yourself to others.
Keep In Mind, You’re Not Seeing The Whole Picture
How often do you write a post on Facebook about your insecurities or Instagram a terrible day? I’m guessing the answer is, not often. Confidence coach and writer for the Huffington Post, Susie Moore, suggests, “Have some perspective. Good fortune in one area of someone’s life does not necessarily translate to all areas of their life. We don’t know what is really going on with people and often the truth can surprise us.”
The next time your find yourself in comparison mode, remember this: We have no idea what someone is truly going through. We have no idea what their life looks like behind closed doors. It shouldn’t matter what your life looks like, it matters how our life feels. And when we compare ourselves to people who only look happier, we’re comparing ourselves to an illusion — an illusion that separates us from reaching self-love.
Instead of thinking your life is totally lame compared to those people on social media, keep in mind you’re usually only seeing the most polished pieces. Almost everything we see — especially on social media — is a carefully constructed version of reality.
Focus On What You Have
All it can take is a quick scroll through Instagram and see someone drinking coffee in a charming cafe on their trip to Paris. Or a fast nip onto Facebook to see yet another friend get yet another promotion and you feel yourself fall in the dumps. Everyone seems to be doing something with their life, and here you are in the same spot for what feels like years. Terrible feeling.
If you catch yourself beginning to compare yourself to the constructed version of someone else, battle that reaction by grabbing a piece of paper, and physically writing down everything you’re grateful that you have. Moore adds to “use your energy focusing on what you have, not what others have.”
If you remind yourself how wonderful your own life is shaping up to be, you won’t feel the need to compare yourself. You’ll realize your own situation is pretty damn awesome!
Someone’s Success Isn’t Your Failure
If you feel yourself beginning to start the comparison game, remind yourself that everyone’s timeline doesn’t have to look the same. If you’re working hard and have a map laid out, your time will come. Just because someone hit their mark months before you doesn’t mean they somehow took away your opportunity. Their success has absolutely nothing to do with you. There’s still plenty to go around.
Christy O’Shoney, self-help writer for The Nectar Collective, pointed out, “It says to you ‘her success is your failure.’ And that’s just not true. In actuality, her success . . . is her success, and that in and of itself is something to celebrate.”
So remember: Just because they won doesn’t mean there is now less chances to win in the pot. Your day will still come, so instead, feel happy for them.
Change Who You’re Comparing Yourself To
Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, switch tracks by comparing yourself to yesterday’s version of yourself. If you have to measure, you might as well do it in a productive way. That way, you’ll either realize you’re making progress or become motivated to kick it into gear. Moore points out, “Remember, life is unpredictable — one day someone else is ahead, another day you will be ahead.”
Only compare yourself to yourself. But be careful of falling into the habit of thinking about your past and how you were in a particular situation negatively. Part of our despair in life comes because we refuse to detach from a version of ourselves that no longer serves us. Maybe you were in a happy relationship you thought would last forever, but didn’t.
Maybe you used to be a size 2 and went to the gym five times a week, but now you’re busy with your career with more than a few pounds to lose. Sometimes what used to work for us is no longer in alignment with where we are at in life now. Use your past self as motivation to better yourself, not to feel bad about where you are at in the present moment. Just like seasons in nature, we have our seasons in life.
Create Goals For Yourself
If you feel yourself constantly comparing, maybe it’s because you don’t have any goals set and feel antsy as you’re left drifting. Think about it: If you have a game plan laid out, you don’t feel as inclined to compare yourself to other people’s successes because you know you’re own right is around the corner. You just have to keep working toward it.
Keep an eye out what you’re feeling jealous about: Are you sighing over your friend’s backpacking pictures? Tell yourself you have exactly 6 months to save and you’ll book yourself a trip to Peru, and then start planning. Do you wish you had the same fulfilling job as the pal on Facebook keeps writing about? You totally can: Begin searching for companies that fit that criteria and see how you can beef up your resume to look attractive to them. Start setting those goals!
Lisa Quast, career writer at Forbes, said, “Practice celebrating your uniqueness and being proud of your accomplishments – no matter when in life they occur. Begin by creating a career development plan with goals and objectives; and then work toward accomplishing these at a comfortable pace.”
If you feel yourself comparing yourself often, set tangible goals that lead you towards those successes you wish you had. That way you’ll know you’re working up towards something, and won’t feel as inclined to break out the measuring stick.
Remember: You Have A Game Plan
Comparison has a terrible habit of always rerouting you: You were on a specific route that was leading you up towards your goal. But then you see someone else get to their destination before you and you want to switch lanes and follow. It shakes up your rhythm and your plan of action and does more harm than good.
O’Shoney pointed out, “You look at someone else’s career, their following or influence, and you assume that perhaps you should be doing what they are doing. Without considering the fact that everyone works at different speeds and has a different path to success, you throw your vision out the window and replace it with one that is totally inauthentic to who you are.”
Instead of doing that, remind yourself you have a game plan and the steps will work as long as you have patience. The saying is true: Don’t compare your middle to someone else’s ending. You’ve got this!
Become Clear Of Who You Are
Try to switch tracks by becoming clear on how wonderful you are. If you see the value in your own self, you won’t want to be someone else. According to Iyanla Vanzant, self-help author and writer at the Huffington Post, “A sense of self lets you see others’ successes and become better, not bitter. List words that describe you: Smart, strong kind; Mother, friend, visionary. Value yourself and you won’t want to be like anyone else.”
Next time you see a friend killin’ it, instead of measuring how far you fall short, write down all the words that positively describe who you are. Take your attention off the outside situation and focus on yourself. Give yourself permission to shift your perspective, go inward and ask yourself why the comparison is bothering you. Ask yourself: What does this situation bring up for me? How does it make me feel? It could lead you to your core limiting beliefs of feeling unworthy, unloved or undervalued.
The goal is getting to the core of our insecurity and why we fall into comparison. Going inward could lead you to your core limiting belief of feeling unworthy, unloved or undervalued. See it, stop it, shift it!
+Now I wanna hear from you and your fight in how you stop comparing yourself to others. What’s the hardest comparison for you to stop telling yourself? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Much love and good luck