How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
In our journey toward self-improvement, we tend to look at other things for baseline and reference to determine whether we are doing something right or what can be done for the better. This kind of comparison is for the sake of growth. But comparing yourself results from envy and discontentment, which is not the path towards self-growth.
It is time for self-check. When do you usually feel inferior to others? In what instances do you feel like you are not enough and wish you had the life others have?
Roosevelt has put it well in his quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” The key to joy is contentment. When you are contented, you actually practice respect—respect for self and respect for others. You respect what you and others have achieved.
Here are some tips:
- Awareness is the key.
Take notice of the times and situations that cause you to compare yourself with others. When you look at your social media feeds, what thoughts do you have in your mind when you see your friends having this and that? Did you know that studies show how social media posts contribute significantly to depression, envy, and well-being? If social media feeds make you feel these ill feelings about yourself, then it is time to reflect on the reason for having social media in the first place. Choose the kind of people you are actually friends with—the type you interact with and celebrate each other’s successes and achievements. This will then help you to refrain from comparing yourself with others.
Likewise, you can also check your intentions of posting about your life on your social media account. Sharing is different from boasting. People can discern that upon seeing your post. Be aware also that people may feel envious and inadequate as well. Not that you want to please everybody, but being aware of your intentions is responsible. Posts that provoke envy and comparison are not good social media content.
- Remind yourself: Other people’s façade does not tell everything.
Posts are curated. People use filters and choose what is best to post to get more likes and affirming comments. But the thing is, outward appearance does not tell the whole story—the whole truth. Not that we want people to tell everything on social media; that is not the point of this at all. Instead, constantly be reminded that other people’s lives are not better than yours. You are in a perfect place, an ideal time, and a perfect situation. Always be in the space of gratitude and wish others well. Be happy for what others have achieved, not necessarily be envious of it. Remind yourself that what you see does not reveal what happens behind closed doors.
- Words to live by Money cannot buy you happiness.
Wealth may allow you to afford your needs and wants, but that’s it. If your life revolves around getting rich to buy everything you want, you will lose sight of what really matters. Frequently, when people spend most of their time making Money, their attitude changes, eventually compromising their relationship and character, especially when they get frustrated with Money. Money is temporal; it is not the primary source of joy. So if you find yourself wishing to be as wealthy as others, start enumerating the things that you have that bring you joy and peace. Then visualize and ask yourself, will I be willing to give all these things for Money? Will it be worth it?
- Be in the space of gratitude.
Keeping a gratitude journal keeps you grounded. Try writing down those things you feel grateful for. Imagine what if you did not have those things. Visualize also those who do not have what you have now, people who have it worse. This is comparing, yes, but your intention is to be reminded that you are right now at the right place and at the right time and that what you have is enough.
- Be inspired to improve what really matters.
You shall not covet. This is a very wise bible verse to live by. Instead, get inspired by the hard work, and perseverance others have pulled through to be where they are now. Then examine your life and see what you can improve with your habits, ways, and means, and the talents you have that can help you attain your goals. Emulate these people’s attitudes and practices rather than being envious and coveting what they have.
Comparison is a valuable drive for you to work on your habits and attitude towards life. But it becomes out of hand when you start believing that others have it better than you and when you focus on the things you do not have. Always be grateful for the blessings the Lord has given you, and the very life you have at the moment can also inspire others.