The one thing that is often easier said than done is “Stop comparing yourself to others.” It is one character flaw that is well hidden in our hearts that it creeps up so often. Knowing that we should act like a horse with blinders and focus on our destination is one thing and doing so is another. The categories that are job titles, grades, income, house, cars, etc. and a number of people I have compared myself with are infinite. I know it’s sad and a sorry state of affair for me but…
The number of time you actually catch yourself looking at what others are doing is alarming. Especially now with social media posts that show the highlights of everyone else’s life and hide the behind-the-scenes. Yes, comparison is the thief of joy yet it’s a street you find yourself walking on daily. Just think back to the last time you went through your Instagram feed. Which posts made you envious? Which ones made you feel smug? Did your life pale in comparison? Which posts made you a better person?
The Negative Effects of Comparison
Focus on our Weakness
When comparing yourself to others you focus on their strength and your weakness. You look at all they have achieved and see it as what you lack in your life. This is an unfair metric to use to judge yourself making you have self-doubt in your abilities.
You develop a feeling of resentment toward people you do not even know. You become envious to a point you dislike what they do going forward. It’s insane and I know it.
Loss of self-confidence
Your focus is so much on what you have not achieved that you end up feeling like a loser in this competition. Increasing your sense of inadequacy and never being proud of the far you have come.
Deprive your joy
Many times looking at peoples achievements make us forget that our talents, gifts, success, and contributions are uniquely tailored to fit our purpose in our life’s journey. So never forget to celebrate the little wins no matter how small they are key to giving you a joyful life.
It’s a waste of time
The time spent looking at those posts and thinking about their life and our boring life can never be recovered. We end up wasting so much time making comparisons and thinking about it and it doesn’t add value to us.
Tips to stop comparing yourself to others
Sometimes we make the comparisons without our consciousness. It is recommended that we be on the lookout of the thoughts and situations that bring about social comparisons. If you focus on the thoughts it will get easier to stop yourself whenever you catch yourself doing it. Social media is one great challenge for me and has been a comparison trigger.
If you find a certain activity or person triggers comparison that doesn’t add value to your life it is best to avoid making contact. Some people may ask questions that make you feel inferior or brag about certain things in their life. Push yourself to avoid the triggers if you can.
Develop a culture of gratitude
‘Count your blessings’ is a slogan we have heard since we were little. Think about how fortunate you are to have the things you have in your life no matter how small you think they are. A roof over your head, food to eat, clothes on your back, people who care about you, etc. Be thankful and you will be surprised by the much you have.
Compare yourself to yourself
If you have to be in a competition, let it be with yourself. Aim to be the best possible version of you and not only for yourself but for others. Ask yourself how you can be better, improve the quality of your life, and be more loving.
Compare yourself with who you are currently versus who you were last year emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Commit yourself to grow more every single day. Focus on you.
Remember you don’t see the whole picture
I love how it is said, stop comparing your apples to someone’s apple pie. People always let you see what they want you to see. Social media is more curated on people’s highlights and so are most of the things displayed in public. So don’t get stomach ulcers over people’s highlights. Remember we are all different people uniquely created to serve different purposes in this world.
Turn the comparison to inspiration
There are so many people who we can look up to and instead of making comparisons, let them be an inspiration and motivation to us. Let us not just look at their bright and big moments but let us also look into their journey to gain inspiration and encouragement as we continue with our own journey. Learn from people, ask questions, and work hard.
Purge your phone
It is important to ensure we control our phones and what we see on them and our phones do not control us. Social media has bombarded us with #blessed across all the platforms. When social media stops being a source of inspiration, you have to let go and have a social media detox. Don’t wait to feel inadequate, self-doubt, or frustrated before you unplug. It’s okay to unfollow people, delete apps, and deactivate accounts. Go on without it for several days and see if there will be changes on your self-image.
Focus on your individual journey
Life is not a competition but a journey we are all travelling. It can either be to find something, learn, create, or become something. With nothing at all to do with how everyone else is doing, what they have collected or achieved but everything to do with where we are and where we are headed. Let us worry about our own progress, what to improve on, and refrain from comparing ourselves with where others are on their path.
Love and be kind to yourself and others
Focusing on positive thoughts and things about yourself and others allows you to be grateful for everything and everyone around you. Comparison tends to bring about criticism that only a constant reminder of love and kindness can heal. Don’t knock anyone down in this journey, do onto others what you would like them to do onto you.
Appreciating what you have always made you develop a grateful heart and a content spirit. We are all living the #blessed lives and we don’t need a microscope to see it. Don’t let any negativity take away the energy you need to build your future and to live your now. So take back the power, focus on you, follow your path, and be the best you can be.