Comparing yourself to others can really make you feel bad about yourself. It’s time to let that go and learn how to stop comparing yourself to others in 5 steps below!
Do you ever find yourself stuck in the comparison trap and think that other people are better, prettier, happier or more successful than you?
You’re not alone.
Especially in this social media age, it is so easy to compare ourselves to others. You scroll through your feed and every day you see people doing all these amazing things: traveling the world, getting their dream job, running a successful business…
We are constantly confronted with perfection and I can say from experience that it can really make you doubt yourself or your life and make you feel overwhelmed. It can even hold you back to be yourself
Comparison is not doing you any good and it’s time to stop feeling miserable because of it.
Today I’m outlining 5 steps that will make it easier for you to stop comparing yourself to others and feel better about yourself. I hope this helps you to avoid the comparison trap and gives you the confidence to be true to who you are.
1. Become Aware Of It
Have you ever tried getting rid of a bad habit? As with every habit, the first step to stop it is to become aware of it. Only when you become aware of what you’re doing, you have the power to change it.
For a long time, I didn’t realize that I was feeling miserable about myself and my life because I was comparing myself to others. Only when I became aware of what I was doing and caught myself every time I was doing it, I was able to change it.
Comparing ourselves to others is an unconscious process: a habit that we have formed and now perform without consciously thinking about it. This habit unconsciously triggers negative thoughts that we have planted in our brains, such as:
- ”I am not good enough”
- ”Others are better than me”
- ”I will never be as successful as her”
- ”She is prettier than me”
Do you recognize any of these? Those thoughts you are having are influencing how you feel.
Being aware of when you start comparing yourself to others already puts you one step ahead. If you catch yourself every time you’re doing it, you can actively tackle the comparison and choose not to let those thoughts make you feel miserable.
That’s when you start breaking the habit and take control of it.
2. Realize That Everyone Is Different
Remember that saying: you can’t compare apples to oranges? That also holds for you and the people you are comparing yourself to.
While an apple and an orange are both fruits and round, they are also different in color and taste. You can’t really say that one tastes better than the other. That’s a matter of personal taste. I may think apples are tastier, but you might like oranges better. It is subjective.
If we don’t compare apples to oranges (because obviously they are different) then why do we compare our lives to the lives of other people? Why do we compare our work to the work of someone else?
When we compare ourselves to others, we may get the feeling that someone else has something that we don’t. At least not YET.
I know this sounds cliché, but everyone is unique. We all have a different background story or particular talents or qualities that have developed in different ways. We are all on our own journey. Someone may be further along on their journey than you, but does that mean this person is better than you? And that you should feel miserable about it? No!
We are all on our own path and it’s just impossible to compare that.
3. Identify The Source
For me, one of the biggest sources of comparison was social media. I was following people on Instagram who were traveling the world for a living, visiting the most amazing places on earth and enjoying themselves, while I was spending most of my days in an office and nothing exciting really seemed to happen. I often felt miserable when I had just checked my social media. You probably have an experience just like this.
Ask yourself: Why would I keep following these people and feel miserable every time they post something?
You can take control of the messages you want to see by being mindful about the people you follow on social media. Stop following those people that make you feel bad about your own life and instead follow people that truly inspire you to do things differently and to be a greater version of yourself.
It’s all in your hands!
4. Change Your Mindset
The most powerful thing I did to stop comparing myself to others, was changing my mindset. Whenever you find yourself making comparisons with other people, try to change those negative thoughts into positive ones. For me, it has made all the difference to stop myself from falling in the comparison trap again.
If you are comparing yourself to someone else, you are really just focusing your attention on everything you don’t have (but this person does), but what you would like to have. You’re thinking from a place of lack. Think about the feelings that gives you? Do you feel miserable? Not good enough? Unsuccessful? All these negative feelings are not doing you any good!
Instead of thinking from a lack mindset, try changing it to an abundant mindset.
Focus on what you DO have. What is going well in your life? What do you feel good about? What or who is making you happy? Don’t try to make it too big. It could be as simple as your dog greeting you when you come home after a long day or a hug from your mom.
I promise you, you’ll instantly feel so much more positive about your life!
The trick with this step, is that you have to do it consistently. You can start small by listing 3 things you’re grateful for every day in a journal. It will take your focus away from the negative and onto the positive.
5. Whatever You Do, Don’t Try To Compete
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article, it should be this: you don’t have to compete with anyone, there is a space for all of us and our ideas in this world.
So often when we compare ourselves to others, we think that we have to compete with others and try to be better and more successful than them. But comparison is useless: there is always going to be someone who is better than you, but there is also always going to be someone who is worse than you.
As I mentioned before, we are all on our own journey. Depending on where you are on that journey, you have something different to offer. Even if you’re offering something similar as someone else, you are doing it in a different way: your own unique way. That attracts the right people to you, so there is no need to compete.
Be excited about the success of someone else and let the people who are a few steps ahead of you inspire you. They are the proof that you can have and achieve what it is you want. So, learn from them, but never let their success affect you in a negative way.
Just one more thing….
I hope these 5 steps are helpful for you to stop comparing yourself to others. Remember that it’s not worth it to let comparison make you feel any less than you are. Don’t let it dim your light and be proud of who you are.
You’ve got this!