“Be yourself!” As it turns out, this childhood adage is a lot easier said than done.
One obstacle to being fully and confidently ourselves is comparison. Money, career, looks, education, and popularity—these are just some of the categories in which we’re likely to compare ourselves to others.
Here are five simple ways to avoid falling down the comparison rabbit hole.
1. Accept where you are and go from there
Comparison can stem from dissatisfaction with where you are in life. But, comparison also does nothing to solve that dissatisfaction. Instead, it fans the flame.
Having trouble accepting where you are in life? Consider this: it’s easier to accept where you are on your life path once you’ve acknowledged not only where you want that path to take you but your capability to make it happen.
Think about it, if you know where you’re going, you’ll be more likely to get there. Set a goal, assess the practical steps necessary to achieving that goal, and get started!
Remember, admiring someone for what they have accomplished is not the same thing as comparing yourself. It isn’t a competition! Try not to stack your accomplishments up against someone else’s and judge yourself for it. Instead, learn what it took for that person to accomplish what it is you’re wanting to accomplish, then set your mind to leveling up the needed skills to achieve it for yourself.
Redirecting your attention away from comparisons and toward self-improvement can help you get where you want to be.
If you’re not happy with how your life looks right now, redirecting your attention away from comparisons and toward self-improvement can help you get where you want to be. And the sooner you recognize this, the sooner where you are in life will start to change!
2. Do a social media detox
When you compare yourself to someone on social media, you’re comparing your real life with someone’s carefully curated ideal life.
Typically, anyone’s social media shows you the “highlights” of that person’s life and is unlikely to feature any struggles or feelings of inadequacy that person has. So, don’t compare the actual reality of your life to the cherry-picked reality of someone else’s. All this will get you is a boatload of self-doubt and frustration.
If you notice social media giving you anxiety in this way, log off and take a break for a few days and consider reading a book or drama that tells a more honest story of life
3. Take time for gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a way to appreciate what you have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make you happier or more satisfied with life.
In fact, gratitude is proven to benefit mental health and improve happiness.
So, take a little time each day and think about what you’re grateful for; slowly but surely, this will help you feel more positive about your life and make it less appealing to compare it to someone else’s.
4. Transform comparison into inspiration
Let whoever you’re comparing yourself to be a source of inspiration for what you can be, do and have in life.
Think: what do you want and how can you get it? If you’re jealous of your neighbor’s new car, consider a plan for how you can start saving money and maximize your earning potential. Wish you had a big group of friends like your brother does? Join a local kickball league!
5. Look beyond the surface
When you compare yourself to others, what are you focusing on? Is it something superficial, like the number of followers you have on Instagram? Or is it something meaningful, like virtue?
Pretend your best friend is a saint. If you had a saint as a best friend, then your best friend’s joy, love, and peace would probably make you jealous. Especially on those days that you feel grumpy and fed up with the world! But, rather than getting caught up in jealousy and simply wishing you had a better attitude, consider where those virtues come from. Find what is motivating your best friend to be so full of joy, love, and peace and discover a way to tap into it.
You got this!
When left unchecked, comparison can take away valuable time and energy—not to mention joy!
We hope these five tips can help you start to focus more on you and less on comparing yourself to other people. When you water and nurture your own grass, there’s no point to worrying if the grass is greener on the other side.