10 Ways To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
We all tend to think everyone is better off than we are and the proverbial grass always is greener. When it comes to comparing yourself to others, I realized how toxic it was and decided to do something about it. This is what I discovered along my detoxifying comparison journey, and how you can stop comparing yourself to others too.
Is comparing yourself to everyone else holding you back from getting where you want to be in life? Do you ever look at the lives of everyone around you and think, wow, I wish that was me?
You know you do. I know I do. Everybody does…
The famous quote – “Comparison is the thief of joy” from Theodore Roosevelt, argues that comparing your work, your life, and everything in between will only serve to make you unhappy – it was true then and true now.
Before I started blogging full-time, I would occasionally find myself comparing myself to others. If I saw someone who owned my dream home, had a fancier car, or had the financial security I so desired, yes, I would often think, why can’t that be me? Why can’t I have that or why isn’t my life more like theirs?
Sure, I’d love to own a huge home but, how real of a comparison is a home like that to mine? Their circumstances were and are totally different from mine. Being realistic about what you want or can attain is the first step in detaching yourself from making a comparison.
It wasn’t too often that I had these flights of fancy so it never really bothered me that much, and I never obsessed over comparing myself to others and comparison wasn’t a huge deal in my life. I seemed to have a good grip on the reality of life and felt blessed for the things I do have and for my family and friends.
Then, I started blogging – that’s when things changed. My comparisons became a daily event – several times a day to be honest. It’s hard to admit and there’s a certain level of shame attached to it. That’s why we don’t often express these feelings with our families and friends. It’s almost – silly.
With the advent of social media, it made things worse. Most everyone’s life on Facebook seemed enviable. It was a mix of who’s traveling the world or who’s home tour left me jaw-dropped.
The only person I would ever express these feelings to was my husband. He would always have a snappy retort to my self-deprecating blathering. He would say, “never compare yourself to anyone else because you never know what their life is truly like. You know what problems you have, but you don’t know what problems they have.” He would always add, “be grateful for what you have.” And you know, he nailed it.
Yet somehow, those sneaky thoughts of comparison would filter back into the forefront of my thoughts. My husband’s wise advice helped me, but I still found myself comparing myself to every other blogger that came across my path. I compared everything about my life to theirs. It made me feel silly, ungrateful, and envious, and I didn’t like feeling that way – at all.
I realized that if I continued to compare myself to anyone who was either financially better off than me or had a bigger or more palatial home, I’d end up being angry at a lot of people.
Comparing yourself to other people creates a totally unrealistic measure for what constitutes as success.
Having unrealistic expectations is what’s at hand here.
When I tell folks that I have a blog, they say, "Oh wow, maybe you will be as popular as Martha Stewart someday." That’s part of the problem. Creating unrealistic expectations for yourself not only by the demanding voices in your head, but also by the expectations of others.
Doesn’t it sound nuts to try and compare ourselves to an unreachable goal? Realizing that professional success is about finding meaning in what you do, making a living, pursuing your own standards of excellence, and finding significance in the value of what you do.
It’s important to remember that everyone has personal struggles. Yes, everyone. There’s not a person on the face of this planet who gets a free pass from suffering. You know your suffering and problems – you don’t know someone else’s.
You can’t play a mix and match game of what you want and don’t want in life either – it doesn’t exist in the real world. When we compare, we view the one or more elements in someone else’s life in isolation – you can’t do that. It’s cheating. Everyone, yes everyone, has pain and struggles in their lives. Think of the people you know well. Do any of them have perfect lives with no pain or suffering? Bam. Point made.
You never can fully know the awful stuff they’ve had to deal with or what demons they battle. Everyone’s life is hard. And that’s the truth. Let’s be honest here, you don’t want someone else’s life – you want your life, dreams, and yes, struggles, not someone else’s. You want your life – only better!
You can make your life better with one easy tip – stop comparing yourself to other people!
Much like everyone who starts a business, I had literally no page views, no customers, no one watched or cared. And now, well after much hard work, many pay-less paydays, I’ve finally started to grow my business into a happy place that I’m grateful for every day.
I have a beautiful home and family, and I am thankful for it every day. I guess when I compare myself now to even last year, I’m doing OKAY. My goal is to create a better version of me every year until the day I decide to change it all again. And yes, that’s the best we can hope for in life. Keep it moving, keep it real, and be true to yourself!
It’s time to start focusing on your special gifts and stop wanting the gifts of others. We spend so much time throwing a personal pity party and stop searching for how we can share our own special gifts with others and find joy within them.
Remember that comparing yourself to other people is truly one of the most toxic damaging things that you can do. So much of what we see is fabricated by social media, fake brands, and fake people, yet we still try and compare ourselves to these unrealistic things.
The perfect way to summarize this is with this quote,
Rather than comparing yourself with others look to learn from them.
And, don’t beat yourself up over comparing yourself to others. I’ve noticed that those who constantly compare themselves with others are the most analytical, the most driven, and the most logical – they are the ones who want to get the most from life.
In summary, practice these 10 key points and stop comparing yourself today!
- Be grateful – always: Remember this, you can’t experience gratitude and fear at the same time. Always be grateful for who you are and what you have.
- Comparison Is a Waste Of Time: Focus on your journey. Don’t waste your time on someone else’s.
- You Are a Unique Creature: You will never have someone else’s life. You are a unique creation and you need to own it!
- There Is No End to The Number of Things You Can Compare: You can literally have an endless list of things to compare yourself to. It’s an unrealistic goal to think you can have it all.
- The Focus Needs to Be On You: Don’t waste time and effort on thinking about other people, but rather, use that time for you!
- Comparison Equals Resentment: You end up resenting yourself and others.
- Focus on Your Strengths: You have them. Use them!
- Stay Away from Comparison Triggers: De-clutter your social media timeline and stay away from Facebook or other things that you find trigger your comparisons.
- Stop Comparison Shaming Yourself: We all compare. You are no different. Find a non-toxic way to get what you want.
- Design Your Own Growth Goals: You are good at something! Find it, nurture it, be it. Design your own goals and focus on them
Once I started catching myself comparing, that’s where it began to change. Instead of comparing, I began to be realistic about my goals and started to think about the next incremental goal I needed to achieve instead and focused on my strengths.