How frequently do you compare yourself to someone else? We do it in our careers. We do it with our family or friends, and on occasion, we even compare ourselves to complete strangers.
There are some positive aspects of comparing yourself with others. For Example; it can motivate you to go back to school and earn a different degree. It can also propel you to apply for a better job or look for ways to become a better person.
Unfortunately, there are also real dangers in comparing yourself to others in life. Comparing who you are with others can trigger negative emotions and actions. You probably have experienced some or perhaps all of these feelings:
Social media platforms continue to propel this constant need in many of us to compare ourselves with others. While the intention of many of these tools is to allow us to keep up with what others are doing, it is generating some negative feelings or in some instances a sense of lacking. Indeed, recent events, including some that have resulted in tragedy, have propelled a wave of “backlash” against platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
You have to remember that while comparing yourself to others may be natural, allowing it to make you feel inferior will not yield a positive outcome. Instead, this act of comparison may even serve as an impediment that keeps you from actually living your life to its fullest.
You must learn to set yourself free from the bonds of comparison. We are all different, and thus, you have to make allowances for these differences.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
We have already established that there is no real benefit in comparing yourself with other people, but you probably have one lingering question:
What can you do to stop comparing yourself to others?
So let us examine some of the approaches we can take.
Be Thankful for Your Strengths and What You Have
Look for ways to be thankful for all that you have and what you are good at doing. Our minds are easily swayed to identify all of the negatives that surround us in life, but we have to practice giving thanks for all of the things we do well or often take for granted.
For example, learn to give thanks for the work that you do, the home or space in which you live, and the fact that you know where your next meal is coming from later this evening or first thing tomorrow morning.
Look for Ways to Gift Others with Your Life’s Purpose
What are you doing with your life’s purpose? Are you using it to serve yourself? How are you using it to help others? Knowing your life’s purpose and using it to affect others positively can be life-changing.
Not only does the other person benefit from your strengths and willingness to give something of yourself to help them but you too can internally experience a significant boost of self-esteem and self-worth from fulfilling someone else’s needs.
Practice Self-Evaluation and Self-Awareness…Not Self-Depreciation
Rather than comparing yourself with others, start practicing self-evaluation. Allow yourself to be the standard or metric to exceed. It’s easy to compare ourselves with others and strive to be something we are not. It is an instinct.
Somewhere deep inside of our minds, we think it’s okay to allow that person to be our standard. However, challenge yourself to buck that trend. Do not permit yourself to make someone else your standard for success. It can lead to a severe blow to your self-esteem and derail you from navigating your own life’s journey.
Don’t mistake this piece of advice for saying you should not appreciate what someone else has achieved in their life or even find a bit of inspiration, but you should make every effort not to define your successes or failures by an idea or image of what someone else is projecting.
Perfection is Not a Must-Have!
Remember that life is not always about perfection. Being perfect at everything you do will often happen by chance. Try to appreciate the things that work out well and learn from your mistakes.
In summary, look for ways to change your mantra and use yourself as a baseline or metric. Find your purpose and use it to serve yourself and others in life.
And when you do compare yourself to others, seek only inspiration and motivation.