Have you ever scrolled through Instagram only to be bombarded with images of seemingly “perfect” lives and suddenly felt that maybe your life is inadequate or less-than everyone else’s? Have you ever been working out at the gym, feeling good, only to see a woman who’s much more fit and suddenly felt insecure? These are just a couple examples of how comparison can steal our joy and make us feel like we’re not as good as other people.
Can you relate?
Comparison can be a very unhealthy thing for our mind, our self-esteem, and our self-love. I want to quickly point out that sometimes comparison can be healthy. For example, if I meet a woman who is super kind and loving and realize that I should be more kind and loving, there’s nothing wrong with that. Then I can go work on becoming a kinder person. Comparison in that sense is healthy because it helps you improve areas of your life that could be better. But when comparison becomes self-deprecating, then you have a problem.
If you find yourself in a toxic comparison habit, it has to stop or you will be very unhappy a very large amount of the time. Today I wanted to share a some tips to help you stop comparing yourself to others in an unhealthy way!
Realize that no one is perfect.
The first step toward overcoming unhealthy comparison is realizing that no one is perfect. The people that you compare yourself to and feel that you can’t compete with aren’t perfect. That’s just impossible; we’re all human, after all. Everyone has weaknesses and struggles, not just you. The thing is, most people don’t let others see those weaknesses. You don’t know what goes on behind-the-scenes in people’s lives. Maybe they even envy something about you! This is one of the (many) reasons why comparing yourself to others is just pointless. We’re all going down different paths with different obstacles and no one has everything figured out.
Be mindful of what you’re feeding your mind.
Our mind is a very complicated thing and everything we do affects it in some way. So, be careful what you’re feeding your mind. Are you following people on social media that just make you feel less-than? Are you watching videos that make you feel bad about yourself? Are you engaging in negative self-talk that tears you apart? Pay attention to what you’re feeding your mind and if you notice a negative pattern, consciously try to stop engaging in the behavior that’s making you feel bad.
Focus on your goals and dreams.
If you put all of the energy that you spend comparing yourself to others into focusing on what you’re doing, you’d probably be so much happier and closer to all of your goals and dreams! Set yourself some awesome goals, work toward them every day, and go after what you want. Do something to improve your life and yourself. Stay in your own lane and you’ll be happier, more confident, and you won’t have time to spend on toxic comparison.
You might like: 8 Steps to Setting + Achieving SMART Goals
Celebrate everyone’s victories.
I always remember that someone else’s success doesn’t automatically equal my failure. There’s more than enough happiness and success out there for everyone. When you notice that someone else has achieved something that you want to achieve, be happy for them. It’s so much less stressful to be happy for other’s instead of being negative or jealous. And while you’re at it, celebrate your own successes, too! Celebrate the good in everyone’s lives – others’ and your own. The world definitely needs more positivity and you’ll be much happier, I promise!
Remember we’re all on different paths in life.
You should never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. And you shouldn’t compare yourself to someone who’s on a completely different path in life. If someone else has been doing something for years and you’re just starting out, of course they’re going to be ahead of you. If someone else has been blogging for 10 years, then they’re probably going to be more popular than your 1-year-old blog. Just because they’re where you want to be right now, doesn’t mean that you’ll never be there. We’re all on different paths in life and we’re all going at different speeds in different areas. There’s really no reason to be comparing an area of your life that you’re just starting to work on to someone who’s been working on it for years. The same goes for comparing yourself to people who are just in a totally different space than you.
Step back from social media once in a while.
Social media is honestly like a breeding ground for unhealthy comparison. It’s best to take a step back from it whenever you need to. If you’re struggling with something in life and you log onto social media, you’re just going to be flooded with “perfect” images of the best things about everyone else’s life. Of course this is going to bring you down further. It can be hard to remember that you’re only seeing your struggles because people very rarely show the whole picture of their lives. It’s pointless when you really stop to think about it. So, it’s best to take a break from it whenever necessary and spend that time doing something positive instead.
Re-evaluate your relationships.
If you notice that you’re constantly bogged down by unhealthy comparison, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your relationships. All of them. If you feel like someone is holding you back, bringing you down, or making you feel negative, let them go. You don’t have to have someone in your life if you don’t want them there. This goes for romantic relationships, friendships, family, and even social media. If you’re trying to be positive and celebrate the victories in life, find people that do the same. Find people that make you feel happy and secure.
You might like: Tips for Dealing With Toxic People
Turn envy into inspiration.
Like I said earlier in this post, comparing yourself to others doesn’t have to be an unhealthy thing. There are ways to turn it into healthy inspiration instead of jealousy. If you’re at the gym feeling insecure because someone else is in better shape than you, don’t start beating yourself up or envying them. Instead, use it as inspiration to work hard on your health and fitness goals. If someone else has something that you want, don’t let it become something negative. Use it as inspiration to go after whatever it is you want. Maybe you can even become friends with this person or let them be a role model for you. Again, there’s plenty of positivity to go around!
When you truly love yourself, comparison isn’t as much of a problem. If you have a nasty habit of unhealthy comparison, work on loving yourself more. If you love yourself, there isn’t as much room for insecurities or envy. If you struggle with learning how to love yourself, you might find my book “Love Yourself: A Journey of Self-Care, Self-Acceptance, and Total Self-Love” helpful. It talks about how to work on self-care, self-acceptance, and self-improvement in order to truly love yourself!
Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? How do you deal with it?