How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others?
I'm the queen of comparisons. I always compare myself to other people consciously and subconsciously. Whether I look at myself in pictures or try on new swimwear or even get a promotion, my brain's wired to compare myself to others who look better than me or still have a better job than me.
"Comparison is the thief of joy," a quote by Theodore Roosevelt is potent. Continually comparing yourself can create an inferiority or superiority complex, which is not a healthy pattern. In a way, it's a hard pattern to escape. Social media was designed for us to compare our lives to other people. We're constantly bombarded with images of happy, prosperous, and beautifully designed lives that can invoke feelings of unworthiness. Add in being negatively compared to others as a child, and voila, it's a recipe for disaster.
Don't worry. There's a way of stopping this harmful and painful pattern. I've summarized it for you in 4 simple steps.
1) Identify the Negative Pattern
Realizing that your thoughts are negative and belittle you and your unique self is extremely important in rewiring your brain and changing this negative pattern. Even if you know comparison is a terrible idea, not realizing you're doing it to yourself can cause prolonged and unnecessary pain. Good job for figuring that one out!
2) Practice Gratitude
When you realize you're starting to go down the comparison rabbit hole, turn your thoughts around. Make them positive. Think about five things, events, or people you're grateful for in your life. Practicing gratitude is my favorite way of starting my day. It sets you up to think positively and be excited for whatever the day may bring.
3) Limit Social Media
I know we all think about getting rid of social media accounts, but it's hard to do. I get that. But what if you limited your exposure to it to 45 min daily. The amount of time you'd save and the amount of other more productive things you could do in that time is substantial. If limiting the time you spend on social media is too hard, no judgment here. Consider unfollowing the accounts which evoke comparisons in you to minimize your negative thoughts and patterns.
4) Increase Your Self-Worth
Easier said than done for sure. On some levels, most people on this planet have low self-worth at some point in their lives. Some people for their entire lives even. Increasing your self-worth can do wonders for your self-esteem and help you live a happy and fulfilled life. There are many ways to do that. You can go to therapy to unload some of the baggage you've carried with you since childhood. You could listen to motivational podcasts, go to therapy, read self-help books, or talk it out with a friend or loved ones. There is no secret recipe to unlock your potential. No matter what you chose to do, it will bring you closer to your authentic, beautiful you.
I've been personally working on my comparison tendency for a few months now. I never even realized it was a pattern until my therapist made me aware of it. In my case, I've been brought up with my mom comparing me to other people. She would usually do it to point out my flaws. She learned that pattern from her mom, and I imagine my grandmother learned it from someone else as well. Healing this comparison wound is somewhat of a mission for me. It will not only make me stop belittling myself, but it will also help end the generational comparison trauma that's been going on for centuries in my family.
I believe that everyone is responsible for their healing, and if you want something changed, you have to take the matter into your own hands. No matter what you decide to do, know this. There is only one you in this world, and comparing yourself to others is a waste of time. No one else in the world is like you, has had the same experiences, or has the same DNA. You're unique, and you should treat yourself as such. For inspiration on how to use guidance and sharpen your intuition to increase your self-worth tune into episode 6 of the Accented World Podcast.