Do you find often find yourself awing with desperation at how classy your friends’ new car looks?
Do you envy your colleague’s lavish lifestyle?
Are you insecure about how your body looks?
I know you have been through this. All of us do! Comparison is a fatal flaw in humans. No matter how smart, kind, or intelligent you might be, there is always someone better than you. You often compare yourself to these amazingly incredible how-do-they-do-that-people in your life, only to feel envious, resentful, and insecure with yourself. So, how to stop comparing yourself to others? A million-dollar question that often pops up in everyone’s mind.
Let’s crack the nut today and calm our lives a bit because, in the end, nothing matters more than your mental health and peace. Also,
‘Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.Coco Chanel
How does comparing yourself with others damage your personality?
To be better able to understand the deleterious effects that comparison has on your personality and mental health, it is prudent to go through some recent studies and researches. Various researches and studies have shed light on the disastrous effects that comparison has on your personality.
One such study on the Effect of Comparison with others and Social Support on Life Satisfaction shows how comparison sucks away your life satisfaction and lowers your self-esteem. Comparison not only makes you feel like nothing, but it also plunges you deep into anxiety and depression. The thought of not being enough slurps away contentment and peace from your life.
Beyond this study, the effects of comparison are immensely damaging. The never-ending feed on your social media accounts also takes a heavy toll on your mental health. Spend five minutes while scrolling through it and you’ll feel like a scumbag. Soon after, you’ll loathe yourself, your achievements, and your lifestyle. The seemingly perfect lives of these famous influencers and bloggers make you feel like shit. Not only that, but you’ll even hate your life’s choices. Or, blame your parents or your significant other for not giving you a lavish lifestyle. Well, comparison is a deadly trap to be caught in.
Further, comparison makes you overspend on things you don’t even need. Just because you saw a season of Keeping up with the Kardashian’s or if you trying to follow the Joneses. This attitude might even lead to financial distress and bankruptcy. And all for what? Only to impress your neighbor next door or a relative you don’t even meet for years.
8 tried and tested ways to stop comparing yourself to others
So, you all, now that you know the deadly effects that comparison has on your mental health and life be mindful of when you dive down the lane. I’ll share some of my personally tried and tested tips to help you focus on your life.
1- Practice Gratitude To stop comparison & jealousy
An attitude of gratitude is all that you need to shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. Gratitude is such a powerful emotion that it instantly diverts your negative thinking patterns and replaces them with positive and soulful emotions. Counting your blessings no matter how insignificant they might seem, you at once feel at ease with your journey of life.
So, years ago when I was really struggling with life. Trying to make both ends meet in the midst of struggling with working on one of my side hustle i.e freelancing. The peer pressure at work along with the lavish lifestyles of everyone highlighted on social media really took a toll on my mental health. Oftentimes, I would be so overwhelmed with everyone’s achievements that I would cry my lungs out for not being that good enough. But one day when I was finally so done with what I was going through, I decided to finally end this vicious cycle of the comparison trap.
To end the nerve-wracking and mind-taxing patterns of comparison, I started writing a gratitude journal. Every day I would write about three things that I was grateful for. Mind you, no fancy or big achievements, rather just ordinary things. So, I wrote,
Peaceful sleep, a healthy breakfast, and fresh air.
I know you must have thought WTH! But, trust me on this, this is just the beginning of the journey. You might not feel an instant uplift of mood. But, when you start appreciating the little joys of life you would feel blessed. Life is reckless, you know. If you don’t appreciate the goodness of it, it tends to pull away any ounce of joy that you might possess.
2- Don’t compare your lows with other people’s highs
Generally in life, we talk about our achievements and accomplishments while sitting in a gathering. None of us want to be the crying and the waning person who has no good to do in life. A person who thinks is helpless and worthless. Someone who is always high on blabbing life is unfair. Rather, when sitting in the company of people, you try to feature the best you owe. Social media in particular is everyone’s highlight reel. You wear the best dress, have the most flawless makeup and hairdo done, looking like a million bucks, and there goes your click up the feed. You bought a new car and posted its picture. Similarly, you graduate, have a birthday party or a cute loving moment with your partner, and decide to share these moments with your social media family. All of these are surely the high points of your life.
On the contrary, if you are sitting home, working horrifically on your assignment which is due at eight in the morning and you scroll through your feed, how would you feel? You will instantly feel a rush of sadness and nothingness all at once. The assignment you were working so hard on, will feel like a burden. You would start comparing yourself to others who have apparently got life all sorted out. But, what good would you get, if you compare your lows with other people’s strengths? Nothing right! Besides, just swelling your eyes up crying over things that don’t even matter to you internally. So,
What is the danger of comparison?
It makes you feel like nothing. It overwhelms you to a point where nothing makes sense anymore. Where life seems just so unfair to you. Where you sabotage your achievements and goals just because they are different than what other people have achieved. But, this comparison cycle needs to stop. You have to make a deliberate effort to nudge your mind off this trap. All in all, never compare your lows with someone’s highs. Focus on your life and you’ll start seeing things happening you never imagined would.
3- Practice self-love to stop comparing yourself to others
Okay now, time to ask some important questions! Who is the person you spend the most time with? Who knows what you are really going through? Or, who sticks by your side 24 by 7? Any guesses? Well, yes, it’s you yourself! So, how about you shower yourself with some love and care? Cutting long story short, self-love and care is important when you want to put an end to the toxic comparison spree.
Why is it bad to compare yourself to others?
Well, while comparing your life to others whether in the real world or virtually you tend to destroy your mental health whether intentionally or unintentionally. You compare your lows in life to the highlights of others. This by no means does any good to you. Instead, you hate yourself for things that were never in your control. You loathe your appearance. Abhor your social status. Ultimately you tend to be so harsh on yourself that you go to the extent of taking your own life.
This is why self-care and love are important. It makes you realize that no matter what your achievements or failures you are still important. It makes you realize that things and accomplishments are secondary while humanity comes first. Self-care and love make you prioritize yourself and your needs. You don’t just blindly follow someone else. Rather you take into consideration what you really want and what really matters to you in life. No matter where the world is going, if something doesn’t hold any value to you, you shouldn’t compare yourself to others for that.
Shower yourself with the love and care that you expect from others. Cut off any toxic energy from your surroundings to stop comparing yourself to others. If anything or anyone makes you doubt yourself then know that it’s time to cut the cords!
Related; A Step By Step Guide to your Self-Love Journey
4- Limit the time you spend on social media
So, which is the fastest way to feel bad about yourself? Social media it is, right! The toxicity of social media in recent years has got to an all-time high. While the latest Hedeonometer graph depicts 2020 as the saddest year for Twitter users. Another research published by California State University reveals that uncontrolled use of social media is directly linked to low self-esteem and increased anxiety. The irony here is that although you are aware of the toxic energy of all the social media platforms, there’s little you do to avoid it. It, however, is completely avoidable if you take some steps to limit the use of social media.
Social media coping skills
The first step to having virtual boundaries is by limiting the time you spend on these platforms. Set up a timer. Scroll for thirty minutes or so if you want to and just shut the app once the reminder pops on the screen. Unfollow any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. Social media at times makes you critic your body image. You hate the way you look just because a certain Influenza (no offense though!) on Instagram flaunted their perfectly shaped body in a bikini. To stop comparing your looks to others you need to shut all the negative energies in your life. Go on a social media detox if you want to. Though the fear of missing out (FOMO) is real, but, trust me on this there’s nothing much that you would miss on.
Life gets toxic at times. It makes you question your worth. With the picture-perfect lives flaunted on social media 24 by 7, the toxicity is merely a click away. In times like these where social distancing has already limited our personal interactions, everyone feels the need to connect virtually. However, you need to know how this exposure makes you feel. Set healthy boundaries around your time because social media really is addictive in nature.
5- How to stop comparing yourself to others- Focus on your strengths
The comparison trap makes you lose sight of your strengths. You tend to focus on how bad you look, or how awful you are. You stare at a friends’ airbrushed photos for hours and later loathe the imperfections on your skin. While eying at a friend’s latest promotion photo, you criticize your decision of leaving a corporate job just to start your own business. The comparison cycle never stops unless you shift your attention from what you lack to what you own.
Here’s what you need to do to divert your attention towards your strengths. Identify three things that you love about yourself and write them down. Just keep it simple and personal. Let me tell you about my strengths, for you to have a better idea.
a) I am a very organized person. No matter where I am, I just like keeping my surroundings neat and proper.
b) The next trait I would like to count as my strength is that I let go of things easily. I am a staunch believer of let bygones be bygones. So, if someone really tries to mend their ways, I am good to go.
c) Last but definitely not least, I truly believe in destiny and what’s meant for you will come to you eventually. So, there’s no room for jealousy and envy because I know I’ll get what I deserve and work for!
Whoa! That’s something I didn’t even recognize as strengths before writing this list. But, now that I have jotted them down I am really proud of who I am as a person. List down yours and do share it with me in the comments section.
Related; How to Improve Focus and Concentration
6- Remember your achievements to stop comparing yourself to others
Oft-times when diving down the comparison trap we tend to forget our achievements and accomplishments. We sabotage everything that we were once proud of just because they aren’t as great as someone else’s. Ultimately we end up feeling bad about ourselves and hate whatever we have achieved. But, keeping a record of your achievements is the trick to get out of the comparison trap.
So, no matter how big or small an achievement might be if that’s something you are proud of then make a record of it. The accomplishments can range from the tiniest things to the most significant goals achieved. For instance, if you came over your craving of having a third scoop of ice cream, then ought to be proud of it. If you dragged down yourself to work on a day you were under the blues, then it should go into the record-keeping diary.
Everything you do, that uplifts your mood or anyone else’s should make you feel proud of yourself. From rescuing a dog to setting your own business, you should be proud of every little achievement in your life.
Also, not only does the remembering tick stops you from comparing yourself to others. But, it also tricks your brain by overcoming your anxiety. You feel good about yourself and positive about the future. When you remember your achievements you feel confident about yourself. This confidence in your abilities makes you strive harder and look farther.
All in all, flaunt your achievements to deal with comparison. Be proud of where you stand today. Own your accomplishments. Never let anyone berate or belittle you. Instead, own your achievements like a badge on your shoulder!
7- Only compete with yourself
In a world of 7.9 billion people, if you keep looking at others how would you water your own grass? I am talking about competition right! You often look to other people for inspiration. But, when this inspiration turns into a competition of being the prettiest, wealthiest, or most famous person it becomes deadly to your personal growth. Healthy competition is a part of everyone’s life. You want to score higher than your certain batch mate. You want your football team to win at the annual sports week. Or, you want to see your name in the qualifying candidate’s list of the YES program. This is fine as long as you don’t tax your brain to be someone you aren’t.
Instead of measuring your progress with the yardstick set by others. See where you were five years ago from today and then compare your journey. Learn to compete with yourself rather than with others. Focus on your own goals instead of what others are doing. You can never keep up everyone. But, you surely can create your own path and traverse through it to achieve the glory of success. Also, if you keep looking to others you’ll end up being nowhere. Every person has their own ambitions and goals in life. However, when you compete with others on aspects that were never really your goals in the first place then you’ll surely lose sight of your own track.
So, take out a journal if you haven’t yet and start writing down your progress. Every day brings something new into our lives, start writing it down. If you look back at your journey when the year ends then you’ll definitely be proud of your growth and journey.
Related; 6 Powerful Habits To Be A Strong Human
8- Embrace your insecurities to stop comparing yourself to others
As much as we all wish to be perfect, we are imperfect! Though everyone knows this, still no one acknowledges or even accepts their flaws. Unless you acknowledge your shortcomings you can’t change them. Remember that everyone has their flaws. No single person born on this Earth is living a completely perfect life. What they choose to show is however a completely distorted picture of reality!
So, embrace your insecurities to stop comparing yourself to others. Own your imperfections because they make you unique. No other person has a smile like yours. No other individual has the same facial features as yours. Instead of drooling over what somebody else possesses, appreciate what you are blessed with first. Know that every single person wishes to be perfect in one way or the other. Some desire a perfectly shaped Kardashian body. While others look to Entrepreneurial giants like Jack Maa and Mark Zuckerberg for their intelligence and skills. Still, others want to have a smile like yours or a car you own.
So, no matter where you are in life, there will always be someone doing better than you. There will always be someone below you. Yet we are all unique and perfect. The trick to deal with comparison is to own what you are blessed with. The grass always looks greener on the other side, but it rarely is! Stop comparing yourself to others merely because of how they look or what they own. There’s no point in comparing apples to oranges or cakes to doughnuts! Everyone is perfect yet flawed in their own ways. But testing whether a fish can climb a tree like a monkey is highly unjustified to its whole existence.
Related; How to be Content with Yourself
Comparison is deadly to your mental health and wellness. Not only does it lower your self-esteem but also sucks away any ounce of satisfaction from it. Focus on your life instead of eying over what others are up to. Being aware of surroundings is good. But, beating up yourself for not being good enough, pretty enough, or wealthy enough is dangerous to your growth and life in general. Look what’s ahead of you. Concentrate on your goals and dreams. Embrace your flaws and stop comparing your life to others. Stressing over something to gain the approval of others will do you no good. Love yourself the way you are and see how comparison and jealousy go down the drain.